VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Former "Survivor" contestant and retired Navy SEAL Rudy Boesch has died at age 91, multiple news outlets are reporting.
"It is with a broken heart that we inform you that Master Chief Rudy Boesch passed away last night. Master Chief was a legend in the SEAL and Special Operations community," the foundation said in a Facebook post Saturday. "Rudy proudly served our Nation from 1944-1990, and his impact on so many individuals continues today."
In 2000, the Bronze Star recipient finished third on the first season of "Survivor." Boesch, who was 72 at the time, remains the oldest contestant in the series' history, the AP reported. He also appeared on "Survivor: All Stars" in 2004.
"Survivor" host and executive producer Joel Probst took to Twitter on Saturday to pay tribute to Boesch, calling him "a legend."
"Rudy is a true American hero," Probst wrote.
The series' official account shared Probst's post, adding, "Our hearts go out to Rudy's family and friends. He will be greatly missed."
Season 1 winner Richard Hatch also praised Boesch on social media.
"Ours was an interesting bond, Dear Rudy!" Hatch wrote. "You and I helped open minds and undermine prejudices. While your time here has passed, you will remain loved and iconic, dear friend!"
Boesch is survived by three daughters, the AP reported.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Cox Media Group