Paul Alexander, who lived in iron lung for most of his life, has died at 78

FILE-Dr. Jennifer Howse, president of March of Dimes, explains the workings of an iron lung to students of Sherman Elementary School in 2004. (Photo by Gerald Martineau/The The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Paul Alexander, a man who lived in an iron lung for most of his life, has died.  He was 78. 

The cause of death for Alexander has not been revealed.  Several weeks ago, his social media manager shared a video saying Alexander was taken to the hospital after contracting COVID-19, and he was later released. 

Alexander contracted polio at the age of 6 in the 1950s and was paralyzed from the neck down and had to live inside the chamber to help him breathe.

During Alexander's extraordinary life, he earned a law degree and became a published author, according to a GoFundMe page created to help finance his health care needs.

FOX News noted that Guinness World Records recognized Alexander as the person who has spent the longest time living in an iron lung.

The ventilator, a large yellow metal chamber, required Alexander to lie his entire body down inside with just his head exposed outside.

Alexander told Reuters in an interview prior to his death that his story is "an example of why your past or even your disability does not have to define your future."

FOX News contributed to this story.  This story was reported from Washington, D.C.