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Yale Athletics | August 16, 2016

Handsome Dan XVII passes away

  Handsome Dan XVII passed away on Thursday most likely from a heart attack.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale University's Handsome Dan XVII (aka Sherman) passed away on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, in Quonochontaug, Rhode Island. The cause of death was most likely a heart attack. Sherman, who spent nine years as Yale's mascot, was nine-years-old when he passed away. The average lifespan of an English bulldog is 8-to-10 years.

Sherman was in Rhode Island with his caretaker Chris Getman, Yale class of '64. Sherman had experienced seizures earlier in the summer but was on medication and doing well, according to Getman.

Sherman lived a good life. He was appointed a midshipmen by the United States Naval Reserve with the title of Midshipmen Captain in 2015 and was the Chairman of the Board of Canine Cognitive Behavioral Studies Center. He has met former presidents George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter as well as Sir Paul McCartney. He was also the star in the Yale Class of 2016's senior movie where he played a character that was kidnapped.

Handsome Dan XVII was appointed as Yale's mascot in 2007. His house name is "Sherman." He was named after the tank and Connecticut icon Roger Sherman.

"He loved his job, was very enthusiastic and brought joy to a lot of people," Getman said.

Yale Athletics has yet to determine a plan to find a successor for Sherman.

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