Dave Dave, an artist disfigured since childhood after his father set him afire at a Buena Park motel, has died at age 42.
The Clark County coroner’s office said Dave passed away the morning of July 15 at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas. The cause of death is pending and could take another month to be disclosed.
At 6 years old, David Rothenberg’s name was flung around the world as the boy at the center of a custody battle whose father slipped him a sleeping pill, poured kerosene on the bed, lit a match and fled the scene.
The 1983 attack pulled Dave into the spotlight and caught the attention of celebrities, including Michael Jackson, who helped pay for his dozens of surgeries and skin grafts. The two became close friends, bonding over unique childhoods that played out in the public.
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