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Who was Roberto Clemente? Cause of death, family and legacy

Roberto Clemente cause of death plane
Roberto Clemente is honored by Google as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. Credit: Roxie Vizcarra.

Google Doodle honors the late Roberto Clemente, who was a National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, who was also known for his humanitarian work. The Puerto Rican baseball player died at age 38 in 1972 — raising curiosity about his cause of death. 

How did Roberto Clemente die? 

Roberto Clemente’s cause of death was a plane crash. The baseball legend was on a flight to Nicaragua when the plane crashed immediately after takeoff.  

The 1972 Nicaragua earthquake occurred two months after Clemente visited the nation. He was on route back to the country to deliver aid to people affected by the earthquake. 

The Douglas DC-7 cargo plane reportedly had mechanical issues and was overloaded leading to an engine failure, which caused the crash. 

Basketball legacy 

He hit three triples in one game and has 12 Gold Gloves awards in a row. Clemente won the World Series championships and a World Series MVP award a year before his death.  

Along with 15 All-Star games, the Puerto Rican legend was also the four-time NL batting champion and was the first Latino baseball player inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973. 

Roberto’s wife and family  

Roberto Clemente was married to Vera Zabala and the couple had three children including Roberto, Jr., who is a former Baseball player and broadcaster. 

The Google Doodle remembers Robert Clemente for both his Hall of Fame baseball career and his humanitarian efforts.

Frank Yemi covers breaking news, TV, and pop culture for Monsters & Critics. He has been a professional writer for more than eight years and... read more
Frank Yemi


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