French Academic Richard Descoings Died of Heart Attack: Medical Examiner

At first, there had been concern he was the victim of foul play

By Jonathan Dienst
|  Wednesday, May 30, 2012  |  Updated 1:12 PM EDT
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Prominent French academic Richard Descoings was found dead at the Michelangelo Hotel Tuesday.

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Prominent French Academic Found Dead in Manhattan Hotel: Police

A leading French academic who has ties to that country's political leadership was found dead in a Midtown hotel room Tuesday, and police have not ruled out foul play. Jonathan Dienst reports.
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A leading French academic whose lifeless body was discovered last month in a midtown hotel room died of natural causes, the medical examiner's office said Wednesday.

The autopsy on Richard Descoings found that he died of a heart attack related to heart disease.

Descoings, 52, was found dead and nude on April 3 inside room 723 at The Michelangelo Hotel on West 51st Street, sources said.

At first, there was concern he was the victim of foul play. Some of his belongings had been thrown out his seventh-floor window, and surveillance footage showed two men entering and leaving his room in the overnight hours.

But weeks later, the medical examiner's office finished its autopsy and officials ruled out foul play.

Descoings was a director at France's prestigious Institute of Political Studies in Paris. He also served as an adviser to France’s political leaders.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Descoings a pioneer in education who made the school "world renowned."     

Descoings was in New York to attend a conference at Columbia University.

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