Pete Frates, Who Championed ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Dies at 34

Pete Frates, who famously inspired the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, has passed away at the age of 34. He died after battling amyotrophic lateral scelerosis for 10 years.

His family shared a statement via Boston College where he graduated from in 2007.

"Pete was an inspiration to so many people around the world who drew strength from his courage and resiliency," the statement read.

The letter highlighted him for being a "natural leader" and a "role model for all."

Frates, learning of his diagnosis, knew he wanted to do all he could to shine a light on the disease and provide a new trajectory on ALS. He eventually came up with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014, which ushered in millions of dollars in fundraising research and treatments.

The video that he first released to kick off the challenge shared his overall hopes of the idea.

"The ALS ice bucket challenge represents all that's great about this country -- it's about fun, friends, family, and it makes a difference to all of us living with ALS," he said.

It's reported that more than $200 million has been raised by his efforts.

Frates played on the Boston College basebal team and even played professional overseas in Germany and in amateur leagues in the states.

ESPN received a statement from the ALS Association after his passing.

"Pete Frates changed the trajectory of ALS forever and showed the world how to live with a fatal disease," the emailed statement read. "He inspired everyone he met and his efforts to lead the ice bucket challenge had a significant impact on the search for treatments and a cure for ALS."

Frates leaves behind his wife and daughter.

The family closed out their statement by writing, "The Frates family wishes to express its sincere gratitude for the abundant love, kindness, and support we have been the recipients of during the past eight years."

In 2014, Frates was named the Co-recipient of Sports Illustrated’s Inspiration of the Year honor. He also was nominated for “Person of the Year” by Time magazine along with another ALS fighter, Pat Quinn.


In an interview with SI, Frates spoke on all his challenge accomplished and the success he was able to create in raising awareness to the severity of ALS.

“Our story, the realities of ALS and the journey the patient goes on has now been recognized as unacceptable,” says Frates. “To the whole world.”