Barbara Minty McQueen, wife of the late actor and mesothelioma victim Steve McQueen, continues to create awareness and fight for an asbestos ban in the name of her film icon husband’s legacy. Steve McQueen died of mesothelioma cancer at 50 years old.
Steve McQueen grew up in Indiana, and at one point during his service in the U.S. Navy, he met Barbara Minty and ran off with her. When the tryst was discovered, he was made to scrub the inside of a submarine from top to bottom. It’s believed that’s when the asbestos exposure occurred with flakes flying everywhere as he cleaned.
Asbestos doesn’t only affect blue-collar workers. Housewives, Congressmen, movie stars, rock stars, and everyone else can be exposed. Even Hollywood film industry professionals have fallen victim to mesothelioma. Fake snow, special effect boards, piping, and curtains containing asbestos were used on numerous sets throughout history.
Barbara McQueen is a presenter at the 2017 Harvest America Festival to be held in the University of Phoenix stadium. Almost 63,000 people will be in attendance, and the speech will be broadcast to millions of viewers around the world.
According to Barbara McQueen, “Steve once said, ‘When I believe in something, I fight like hell for it.’” That’s why she’s also written a new book titled Steve McQueen: the Salvation of an American Icon with Marshal Terrill, coauthor of Barbara McQueen’s first book, and Greg Laurie, founder of the Harvest Christian Fellowship.
Barbara McQueen has also published Steve McQueen: The Last Mile. It discusses the couples’ three-and-a-half-year relationship before he passed.
The revised edition of the book includes a page for mesothelioma information and talks about the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization to share more on the deadly effects of asbestos. Many international conference attendees and even Michelle Obama have been presented with the book.
Asbestos is still not banned in the U.S. American businesses legally import, use, and sell both raw asbestos and products made with it today. Hundreds of thousands of pounds enter the country each year, according to the EWA Action Fund.
“I think he would think that’s wonderful. That he could use his death, his celebrity, for something to help people open their eyes,” said Barbara McQueen. “I think he’d be proud to be a part of it.”