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Richard Jewell, RIP

Richard Jewell, who was falsely accused of a bombing at the 1996 Olympics, died today. The initial diagnosis was complications from diabetes and kidney disease.

He led a good life. After the Olympic Park bombing, his name was dragged through the mud by a lot of media outlets. The worst part was that
he had done the right thing. A typical headline was from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

FBI suspects 'hero' guard may have planted bomb

Seeing the word hero in quotes had to have hurt. The paper also described him as "an individual with a bizarre employment history and aberrant personality."  He settled with several news outlets, but not the AJC.  Even in their obituary , they devoted a good bit of space to defending themselves. Sick.

Things did get better for him. He won a lot of money in lawsuits, and he was recognized for his service by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue on the 10th anniversary of the bombing. His response was as follows:

"I never sought to be a hero. I have always viewed myself as just one of the many trained professionals who simply did his or her job that tragic night. I wish I could have done more."

Pretty classy for a man with an "aberrant personality".

Jewell also managed to keep his sense of humor.  It can be seen in this clip from Saturday Night Live, where he can't keep from cracking up as Weekend Update's Norm McDonald hurls bizarre accusations at him.

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