Ben Watkins – Cause of death: Cancer
The 14-year-old chef and reality TV star Ben Watkins died on November 16, 2020, due to complications from angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma, a rare form of cancer he was diagnosed with a year prior. Watkins was a fan favorite on the FOX cooking competition Masterchef Junior, where he competed at age 11. Show judge Gordon Ramsey tweeted, “We lost a Master of the @MasterChefJrFOX kitchen today. Ben, you were an incredibly talented home cook and an even stronger young man. Your young life had so many tough turns, but you always persevered.”
Watkins was a domestic violence survivor, with both of his parents passing away in a domestic violence dispute in 2017. He honed his cooking skills by working in his father’s barbeque restaurant outside of Chicago, where he sold baked goods and desserts he made himself. His flair for desserts and tragic story made Watkins a fan favorite. “Ben suffered more than his share in his 14 years on this Earth, but we take solace in that his suffering is finally over and in that, in the end, Ben knew he was loved by so many,” his grandmother Donna Edwards and his uncle Anthony Edwards wrote in a statement on his GoFundMe page.