Bennet Omalu is a Nigerian-born physician, forensic pathologist, and neuropathologist. Bennet Omalu was the first to discover and publish research on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in American football players.
How old is Bennet Omalu?
Bennet was born on September 30, 1968, in Nnokwa, Idemili South, Anambra, during the Nigerian civil war. Bennet Onyemalukwube was his birth name. His father was a civil mining engineer and community leader, and his mother was a seamstress. Bennet was the sixth of seven children in the family. The family has Igbo ancestors, who are the majority in Enugu-Ukwu village in southeastern Nigeria. He is 52 years old.
Education of Bennet Omalu
When it comes to Omalu’s educational background, he has been an academically gifted student since his childhood. He started elementary school at the age of three. Later, he was admitted to the Federal Government College Enugu for secondary school. By the age of 16, Omalu had begun his Bachelor’s degree studies at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. In June 1990, he earned his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS). Following that, he completed his internship and worked as a physician in the highland city of Jos for three years.
While looking for opportunities for further education, Omalu was accepted into a visiting scholar program at the University of Washington in 1994. Later, he relocated to New York to begin a residency training program at the Harlem Hospital Center. He received anatomic and clinical pathology training at this institution.
Omalu holds a number of advanced degrees and certificates. In 2000, he completed pathology fellowships at the University of Pittsburgh. Two years later, in 2002, he received a fellowship in neuropathology from the same university. Similarly, in 2004, he received a master of public health (MPH) in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. The list does not end here. He then enrolled at Carnegie Mellon University, where he earned a master of business administration in 2008.
How much does Bennet Omalu earn?
Despite being embroiled in a major controversy with the NFL, Omalu’s discovery has distinguished him as one of the best neurologists. He now has a net worth of around $5 million. His annual salary, however, is still under consideration.
Who is Bennet Omalu married to?
Omalu is married to Kenyan-born Prema Mutiso. They have not disclosed the date of their wedding. The couple currently lives in Elk Grove, California, with their two children, Ashly and Mark.
How tall is Bennet Omalu?
Omalu is a Nigerian with a dark complexion. He has a slightly oval-shaped body and is relatively short in height. However, his exact height and weight are unknown. Furthermore, he has black hair that he always wears short. He has a bright, endearing smile.
Career line of Bennet Omalu
- As a physician, Omalu pursued his education and career concurrently. He worked as a doctor while furthering his education. In 1999, he worked at the Allegheny County Coroner’s Office under noted pathologist Cyril Wecht. It was during this time that he developed a strong interest in Neurology.
- Later that year, in 2007, he was appointed chief medical examiner for San Joaquin County, California. However, he resigned in 2017. As he walked away, he accused the county sheriff of repeatedly interfering with death investigations.
- Omalu examined Mike Webster’s body while working at the coroner’s office in September 2002. Mike was a former professional football player who died unexpectedly at the age of 50. For several years, the Pittsburgh Steelers player struggled with depression, as well as cognitive and intellectual impairment.
- Omalu discovered large amounts of tau protein in Webster’s brain after careful examination. The accumulation of impaired cognitive function. He suspected Webster had dementia pugilistica, a condition previously found in boxers.
- A few years later, in 2005, Omalu and his colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh’s department of pathology published a paper titled “Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in a National Football League Player” in the medical journal “Neurosurgery.”
- In response to his findings published in the journal, the NFL’s Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) Committee demanded a retraction. They even dismissed Omalu’s research as “flawed.” Omalu, on the other hand, did not give up on his work.
- He looked into Terry Long, who had committed suicide at the age of 45. He discovered the same buildup of tau proteins in the brain of this former football player.
- n Bailes, chairman of neurosurgery at West Virginia University School of Medicine, later supported him. A former Steelers team physician also agreed to participate in his research. Omalu co-founded the Sports Legacy Institute with Bailes and lawyer Bob Fitzsimmons to further CTE research.
- After years of study and struggle, he finally received recognition in March of 2016. Jeff Miller, the NFL’s senior vice president for health and safety policy, testified that there was a link between football and CTE. The American Medical Association honored Omalu with the Distinguished Service Award for his work on CTE the same year.
- During the NFL controversy, journalist Jeanne Marie Laskas covered Omalu’s research and NFL opposition. She first published an article in GQ magazine, which was later expanded into the book Concussion. The story was eventually picked up by Hollywood.
- In 2015, director Ridley Scott decided to adapt the story into a film titled ‘Concussion,’ in which star Will Smith played Omalu.
- Aside from all of the aforementioned endeavors, Omalu is also the author of three major books. His first book, “Play Hard, Die Young: Football Dementia, Depression, and Death,” was released in 2008.
- Similarly, “A Historical Foundation of CTE in Football Players: Before the NFL, There Was CTE” was published in 2014, and “Truth Doesn’t Have a Side: My Alarming Discovery about the Danger of Contact Sports” was published in August 2017.