Lori And George Schappell

Lori and George Schappell (September 18, 1961 – April 7, 2024) were American conjoined twins.

George performed as a country singer. As of 2020, they were the oldest living conjoined twins in the world. Guinness World Records noted that George's gender transition made him and Lori the first set of conjoined twins to identify as different genders.

Lori Schappell
George Schappell
Lori And George Schappell
Born(1961-09-18)September 18, 1961
DiedApril 7, 2024(2024-04-07) (aged 62)

Early life, family and education

Born as Lori and Dori Schappell, they were craniopagus conjoined twins joined at the head. Although they shared an area of scalp and blood vessels, their brains were distinct from each other. They had very different personalities and lived—insofar as possible—individual lives. George was also unable to walk due to spina bifida.

The first 24 years of their life they spent in an institution for the mentally disabled. From 1988 they lived, without assistance, in high-rise apartments for the elderly in Reading, Pennsylvania. As a mark of individuality, and disliking the fact that their names rhymed, George first chose to go by the name Reba, after his favorite singer Reba McEntire.

The twins graduated from a public high school and later attended college classes.

Careers

George designed support equipment for people with physical disabilities, including a specialized wheelchair and a mobility aid for dogs.[citation needed] As a country music singer, George performed widely in the United States and visited Germany and Japan. In 1997, he won an L.A. Music Award for Best New Country Artist. He sang "Fear of Being Alone" over the credits of Stuck on You, a comedy feature film about a pair of fictitious conjoined twins.

Lori acted as George's facilitator. She worked in a hospital laundry, arranging her workload around his singing commitments. She said that, as a fan of his, she paid to attend concerts, just like all the other fans, simply making herself quiet and "invisible" while he is performing.

As conjoined twins, Lori and George appeared in a number of television documentaries and talk shows. They also acted in an episode of the television series Nip/Tuck, in which they played conjoined twins Rose and Raven Rosenberg.

On June 21, 2007, Lori and George took part in the grand opening of Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Odditorium in Times Square, Manhattan, New York City. This was the first time they were billed as Lori and George Schappell.

Personal lives and death

Lori and George lived in a two-bedroom apartment, with each maintaining a distinct private space. They had several pets. Lori was a trophy-winning bowler. They respected each other's privacy in terms of work time, recreation and relationships. Lori had several boyfriends and was engaged, but her fiancé died after a motor-vehicle accident. They celebrated their 50th birthday with a trip to London.

By 2007, George came out as a trans man. Guinness World Records noted that his gender transition made him and Lori the first set of conjoined twins of different genders.

Lori and George Schappell died at University of Pennsylvania Hospital on April 7, 2024, at the age of 62. The cause of death was not publicly disclosed. Lori and George are survived by their father and six siblings. Following their deaths, Lori and George were posthumously separated and both were buried in separate coffins, side by side, in the same plot at Zion United Church of Christ Cemetery at Perry Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania.

Media

Lori and George appeared in the following programs or articles:

  • 1993: The Maury Povich Show
  • 1996: Jerry Springer
  • September 8, 1997: Twins - The Divided Self (US Title: Body Doubles; The Twin Experience); Peabody Award winning documentary for ITV, HBO & CBC
  • September 11, 1997: The Unexplained :"The Twin Connection", as Lori and Dori
  • September 12, 1998: The Howard Stern Radio Show
  • October 7, 1998: Howard Stern
  • 1998: A&E documentary Face to Face: The Schappell Twins[better source needed]
  • 2000: The Learning Channel documentary Separate Lives
  • May 15, 2002: The Jerry Springer Show; George was billed as Reba Schappell
  • August 17, 2004: American television show Nip/Tuck, in the episode "Rose and Raven Rosenberg"; Raven was played by George (billed as Reba) Schappell; Rose was played by Lori Schappell
  • May 31, 2002: Howard Stern
  • 2005 Television documentary: Medical Incredible. A documentary on Discovery Health Channel.
  • 2005 Television documentary: Extraordinary People: Joined at the Head; George was billed as Dori Schappell
  • September 24, 2007: The Greek reality show Aksizei na to deis (Worth SeeingΑξιζει να το δεις)
  • 2007: The romantic comedy film X's & O's
  • 2007: Television documentary Inside Extraordinary Humans: Science of Conjoined Twins

References

Tags:

Lori And George Schappell Early life, family and educationLori And George Schappell CareersLori And George Schappell Personal lives and deathLori And George Schappell MediaLori And George SchappellConjoined twinsCountry musicGender transitionGuinness World Records

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