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Paul Alexander Ethnicity: Family, Education, and Career

Paul Alexander ethnicity is mixed as his father is a Greek immigrant and his mother is of Lebanese descent.

Alexander was a famous American paralytic polio survivor, lawyer, and writer. He is known as the last man to live in an iron lung.

He is a Juris Doctor at the University of Texas at Austin who was admitted to the bar in 1986. Alexander contracted polio in 1952 at the age of six.

Well, with the sad demise of Paul Alexander on March 11, 2024, people are curious to know about Paul Alexander’s personal and professional life.

Paul Alexander Bio

Full Name Paul Richard Alexander
Date of Birth January 30, 1946
Birthplace Dallas, Texas, United States
Died March 11, 2024 (aged 78)
Occupation Lawyer and Writer
Parents Father: Gus Nicholas Alexander
Mother: Doris Marie Emmett
Siblings Philip Alexander
Height 5 feet 5 inches
Nationality American
Religion Christianity
Ethnicity Mixed (Greek-Lebanese)
Spouses Never Married
Relationship Kathy Gaines

Paul Alexander Ethnicity and Family Background

Paul Alexander was born on January 30, 1946, in Dallas, Texas, United States.

He was born to Gus Nicholas Alexander (father) and Doris Marie Emmett (mother). His father was a Greek immigrant while his mother was of Lebanese descent.

Therefore, Paul Alexander’s ethnicity is mixed with Greek and Lebanese ancestry.

Paul Alexander Paralyzed for Life

Alexander contracted polio at the early age of six and was paralyzed for life. He was only able to move his head, neck, and mouth.

Along with him, hundreds of other children around Dallas, Texas caught polio in the early 1950s and were kept at Parkland Hospital.

Alexander almost died and was rushed into an iron lung treatment. He was kept in the hospital for 18 months and discharged to home.

With the help of a physical therapist, Mrs. Sullivan, he learned glossopharyngeal breathing making it easier to breathe without the iron lung.

Paul Alexander Education

With his situation, Alexander was homeschooled and was a student of the Dallas Independent School District. He graduated second in his class from W.W. Samuell High School at age 21.

With that, he became the first person to graduate from a Dallas High School without physically attending the school premises.

Furthermore, Alexander continued his education after receiving a scholarship to Southern Methodist University.

He was then transferred to the University of Texas at Austin and completed the college with a bachelor’s degree in 1978 and a Juris Doctor in 1984.

Paul Alexander Career

After completing his education, Alexander began working as an instructor of legal terminology to court stenographers at an Austin trade school in 1986.

Although his paralyzed body, he used to present in court in a three-piece suit and a modified wheelchair that held his body upright.

For his survival in an iron lung, Paul Alexander has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the longest survivor of an iron lung.

Paul has also self-published his memoir, Three Minutes for a Dog: My Life in an Iron Lung was released in April 2020.

Recently in January 2024, Paul started a TikTok where he posted videos discussing his life.

Paul Alexander Relationship with Kathy Gaines

Paul Alexander had a supporter and an angel in his tough life whose name is Kathy Gaines.

Despite his physical disability, Kathy Gaines played an essential role in his life who had been serving him as a caretaker.

She not only supported him physically but, Kathy was also an emotional partner.


Paul Alexander was a Man in the Iron Lung who lived with the support of the Iron Lung since the age of six. Despite his disability, he became a lawyer and writer. Sadly, Alexander passed away on March 11, 2024.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When did Paul Alexander contracted polio?

Paul Alexander contracted polio when he was six years old in 1952.

When did Paul Alexander die?

Paul Alexander died on March 11, 2024.

When did Paul Alexander publish his memoir?

Paul Alexander published his memoir, “Three Minutes for a Dog: My Life in an Iron Lung” in April 2020.

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