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'Band of Brothers' Inspiration Dick Winters Dies

Major Dick Winters

The World War II hero's exploits were made famous by the book and HBO television mini-series.

Richard "Dick" Winters, the commander of Easy Company whose World War II exploits were portrayed in the Band of Brothers book and award-winning HBO series, died last week at aged 92.

The Associated Press reported that Winters died following a long battle with Parkinson's Disease and asked that news of his death be withheld until after his funeral.

Winters became the leader of Company E, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division on D-Day, after the death of the company commander during the invasion of Normandy.

Historian Stephen Ambrose interviewed Winters for the 1992 book Band of Brothers, upon which the 10-part HBO miniseries was based.  The series, co-produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, started airing in September 2001 to wide critical acclaim. Winters himself published a memoir in 2006 entitled Beyond Band of Brothers.

When people asked whether he was a hero, Winters echoed the words of a World War II buddy: "No, but I served in a company of heroes."