After his appeals were exhausted, Cook went to Leavenworth in 1925.  He became the night warden of the prison hospital, invented a dietary regimen to help recovering drug addicts, taught in the literacy program, lectured on his experiences in exploration, and became the most popular man in the prison.  He also managed to rehabilitate himself somewhat with the public through the numerous high-minded articles he published in the prison’s paper, The New Era,  which he distributed at government expense.  In 1926, Roald Amundsen visited him at Leavenworth as a token of friendship from the Belgica days.  When Cook was paroled in March 1930, he was news again as a result.  
     His plans for a post-prison career all fell through, however.  He could find no market for the writings that he had produced in prison, and the government forbade him from lecturing on his experiences there.  He was reduced to helping out in his friend’s ophthalmology practice in Chicago, as his physician’s credentials were now long out of date and his own eyesight failing badly.  
     Cook spent most of the last five years of his life shuttling from Chicago to New York and New Jersey, where he stayed with his daughters and sister.  He died of complications of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1940, but not before reasserting his claim to have discovered the North Pole in several ways.  He is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, New York. 
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