Dan Lembo, ‘Survivor: Nicaragua’ Contestant, Dead at 75

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Survivor: Nicaragua contestant Dan Lembo has died at the age of 75.

According to his obituary, Lembo passed away on Sept. 3 at his home in Manhattan. There is no listed cause of death.

He competed in the 21st season of Survivor in 2010 when he was 63. The real estate mogul didn’t fare well through the challenges, but he was well-liked by his teammates. Because of that, he lasted until the final five where he was voted off on Day 37.

Dan Lembo’s friends and family remember him as a “charismatic, larger-than-life, outgoing bon vivant” who “loved nothing more than spending time with his children and friends – new and old.”

“On weekends he enjoyed softball in Bridgehampton with friends,” the obituary shares. “Daniel will be remembered as a friend to all and a father to two.”

Late ‘Survivor’ Contestant Didn’t ‘Play… For the Money’

Because the Survivor star was so successful in his career, he was already a millionaire when he competed in Nicaragua. And his fans and competitors were aware of that thanks to a pair of expensive alligator skin shoes he wore while he played each week.

“I didn’t play Survivor for money,” he told PEOPLE after he left the island. “I wanted the adventure. I’m the type of guy who sees a challenge and thinks, ‘I could do that.’ So I wanted to be part of this crazy game — and I did pretty well, I’d say! I made it really far.”

That season saw 21-year-old Jud Birza crowned the last Survivor.

Dan Lembo is survived by his sons Matthew and Michael, daughter-in-laws Emily and Dana, grandchildren Ava, Annabelle, Sailor, James, and Harper, and former spouse Barbara.

According to PEOPLE, hundreds of people attended Lembo’s memorial service, which took place on September 7.

“Dad, No matter the situation, you were always there for me,” his son Michael wrote in the obituary. “You were my first phone call. You were my travel buddy… every weekend, we would take our trips. From skiing in Vermont, looking at homes in the Hamptons, a sunny weekend in Miami, or a Yankees’ playoff game, we were always together. I will miss you.”

“Thank you for being my Dad,” his son Matthew added. “You were a happy person. You were my best friend. I will miss you.”

This is a developing story.