BALTIMORE (AP) – Doctors at the University of Maryland medical school say the man known as the “Father of the U.S. Navy” died of chronic inflammation of the kidneys two centuries ago.

John Paul Jones was born in Scotland in 1747 and died at age 45. He is best remembered for his naval victories during the Revolutionary War. His previous cause of death was listed as “dropsy of the chest.”

The researchers said Friday that a viral or bacterial infection led to Jones’ progressive kidney disease. They looked at Jones’ medical records and an autopsy done 113 years after he died.

Jones was the subject of a conference at the medical school devoted to uncovering what killed prominent historical figures. Conferences have also explored the deaths of Edgar Allan Poe and Christopher Columbus.


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