Danny Gans passed away quickly and unexpectedly on the morning of May 1st. Paramedics got a
call at around 3:45 a.m. and were told that the 52-year-old male was having problems
breathing...when the paramedics got to the home 7 minutes later; they found him unresponsive
and pronounced him dead. His heart just stopped. The initial investigation ruled out foul
play and all indications point to "natural" causes. An autopsy will be performed to find the
As an outsider, as a fan, as a man that is close to the age of 52...there is no reason. Why?
How could a person...so beloved in our city, so talented, so grounded...a health conscious,
religious, family oriented man with absolutely no indication of problems, simply drop dead? It
stuns us. It shocks us. It baffles us. It makes us evaluate our own lives and our own
mortality. Is this truly how it can happen? One minute we are here, and the next minute we
are gone? A rhetorical question to be sure...of course it can happen, but usually we don't see
such significant example, and we forget... We forget how precious life can be... We get so
busy moving through life with all of our given tasks, that we forget to live the life that has
been given to us. We think of Danny Gans and we see a man that lived his life, and he is an
example to us all for how a life could be...true achievement through hard work, perseverance,
honesty, faith... It is a life that was filled with achievement, but not without its trials
Gans wanted to be a baseball player, and he signed with a minor league team...it was a dream
that was cut short by injury...a turning point to be sure. Gans' chosen career, a dream for
which he had trained all of his life...taken away by an injury...and he looked at those pieces
of a shattered dream...and he went in another direction. How horrific it must have been for
the young athlete to have his career cut short. How he managed to turn his career choice
around at that time is another testament to the man himself. He started performing with skills
that he had only played with until then. And in a very odd way that seems horrible to say...we
are glad that Danny is not a baseball player.
He came to Las Vegas in 1996 (the same year I arrived,) and he started performing at the
Stratosphere. His success took him to the Rio, then on to the Mirage, and finally to the
Encore. He was finally given the marquee at the Mirage only after the tragic tiger attack on
Roy Horn of Siegfried and Roy. Danny Gans was the example and testament to many Las Vegas
performers. He was the proof that the cream did rise to the top. He was the proof of turning
hard work into success. He was an example to us all. I never heard a bad word about him.
I relish the number of times that I got to see Danny Gans...I feel lucky that I was able to see
him perform so many times...and yet, I wish that I had taken one more opportunity...
It is the morning of May 2nd, one day after hearing the news...I have not been able to write
until now...shock and stun have kept my thoughts unorganized and disparate. I think of the
performances I saw. I think of the number of times I saw Danny in the community. I remember
the smile and the warmth of meeting him and seeing him with his family. I think of the
charities that will miss his efforts. I think of his wife and children...I think of their
unimaginable pain. I send thoughts and prayers and hope that they help.
Las Vegas will not be the same without Danny Gans.