Former Gov. Ed Rendell announces he’s battling Parkinson’s disease

Ed Rendell (Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA — Ed Rendell, the former governor of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia mayor, has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, according to multiple news outlets.

Rendell announced the diagnosis during a press conference Monday at Pennsylvania Hospital. He said the original diagnosis came more than three years ago.

Rendell says his mother suffered from Parkinson’s for the last 13 years of her life.

“I always viewed myself as indestructible,” the former governor said at the press conference.

Rendell’s tenure as Mayor of Philadelphia lasted from 1992 to 2000, and he was elected Governor of Pennsylvania in 2003, serving eight more years at that post. He was also an active member of the Democratic National Committee, serving as its chair.

Rendell said he went public in order to send a message to others who may have the disease and to stress the importance of catching it early.

“It turns out I wasn’t indestructible,” he said. “None of us are.”

Governor Tom Wolf today released the following statement on Rendell’s announcement.
“Frances and I are sending our thoughts and encouragement to our friend Ed Rendell today. Pennsylvania has seen few leaders as tough as Ed and we have full confidence that neither has Parkinson’s disease. Ed should know that the entire commonwealth is standing behind him and hoping for the continued success of his treatment and therapy. As he always has, he is putting others first by going public with his diagnosis so others can also get the help they need. We are proud of everything Gov. Rendell did and does every day for Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. We look forward to continuing to work with him to build stronger and safer communities for a long time to come.”