MOUNT KISCO, New York (AP) -- Actor Christopher Reeve, the star of the "Superman" movies whose near-fatal riding accident nine years ago turned him into a worldwide advocate for spinal cord research, died of heart failure, his publicist said. He was 52.
Reeve went into cardiac arrest Saturday while at his home in Pound Ridge, New York, then fell into a coma and died Sunday at a hospital surrounded by his family.
His advocacy for stem cell research helped it emerge as a major campaign issue between U.S. President George W. Bush and his Democratic opponent, John Kerry. His name was mentioned by Kerry during the second presidential debate Friday evening.
In the last week, Reeve had developed a serious systemic infection from a pressure wound, a common complication for people living with paralysis. He was hospitalized Saturday.
Dana Reeve, his wife, thanked her husband's personal staff of nurses and aides, "as well as the millions of fans from around the world who have supported and loved my husband over the years."
Reeve's life changed completely after he broke his neck in May 1995 when he was thrown from his horse during an equestrian competition...