ProCon.org Mourns Loss of Alan Thicke, Celebrity Ambassador

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Alan Thicke moderating a ProCon.org debate on medical marijuana at the Santa Monica Pier, Nov. 1, 2016

Alan Thicke, the 7-time Emmy-nominated Canadian actor and writer, passed away on December 13, 2016 at the age of 69.

For all of his fame and amazing accomplishments, we also knew Alan for his commitment to ProCon.org and many other charities. We are so sad to learn about his sudden passing. Our deepest condolences go out to his dear family.

Bruce McNall, former owner of the LA Kings, close friend of Alan, and a ProCon.org Board member, said: “I’ve known Alan for so many years as a wonderful family man, hockey fan, and friend. When I spoke to his son Robin and he told me what happened, I was in shock. Alan was one of the greats. I’ll miss him dearly.”

We first met Alan when he came to visit Bruce in our office. His famous voice echoed around the walls and made us all light up with excitement. Alan was so enthusiastic about our cause. He participated in two of our celebrity golf tournaments and spoke at a major conference on our behalf. In October 2010 he was a contestant on Don’t Forget the Lyrics, winning money for ProCon.org and the Alan Thicke Center for Diabetes Research. He worked so hard to raise money for charity – not just ours, but many.

In 2014 he became our official celebrity ambassador. Alan did print interviews and appeared on talk shows, news stations, and radio programs, talking about ProCon.org and the importance of understanding both sides of divisive issues.

Alan championed that ideal over much of his life. In the lyrics of Diff’rent Strokes, he wrote: “Now the world don’t move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you, may not be right for some.” Or from Facts of Life: “You take the good, you take the bad, you take them all, and there you have the facts of life.”

On November 1, 2016, in connection with our event “Pro/Con at The Pier: The Return of Civil Discourse” at the Santa Monica Pier, Alan served as the moderator for a discussion about marijuana legalization. In the finale of our 4-part series, Alan kept the audience engaged and smiling while he respectfully challenged the panelists on their views. He arrived early and stayed late, taking pictures and having conversations with so many people who loved America’s famous dad. It was the last time we saw him in person, and it was an especially deep reflection of his humility, star power, and commitment to people and causes.