A brief statement from Paul McCartney's office
said, "The blessing was that the end came quickly and she didn't suffer."
The statement also said that just two days before her death that Linda
and Paul had been horseback riding, one of her passions. Paul
McCartney is expected to issue a personal statement later in the week.
Linda McCartney, born Linda Eastman in New York in 1941, came to
know Paul McCartney through her work photographing rock bands in the
early 1960's. Her work was widely published at the time, and has been
exhibited worldwide. In 1992, she published a collection of her work in
Linda McCartney's Sixties - Portrait of an Era. After the breakup of the
Beatles, she recorded and toured with Paul's group Wings through the
seventies and early eighties.
The McCartneys became outspoken vegetarians in the eighties, and
contributed to a number of environmental causes throughout the eighties
Through a spokesperson, Yoko Ono, widow of former Beatle John
Lennon, expressed shock and sadness at the news of Linda
McCartney's death. In lieu of flowers, the McCartney family has asked
that those wishing to honor Linda McCartney do so by donating to
charities involved in cancer research, animal welfare, "or - best of all -
the tribute that Linda herself would like best. Go veggie."
Reported online: Live Daily (tktmaster)
Linda Eastman McCartney, the wife of the former Beatle
Paul McCartney and a photographer
whose portraits of 1960s rock stars have become classics, died on Friday in Santa Barbara,
Calif., where the McCartneys were vacationing. She was 56.
The cause was breast cancer that spread to her liver, said Geoff Baker, a family spokesman.
Besides her work as a photographer, Ms. McCartney performed as a keyboardist
singer in two of her husband's post-Beatles bands, Wings and the unnamed ensemble that toured in
1989 and 1993. She was a staunch campaigner for animal rights and vegetarianism and, starting in
the late 1980s, she turned her passion for vegetarian cooking into an industry. She published two
cookbooks, "Linda McCartney's Home Cooking" in 1989 and "Linda's Kitchen" in 1996, and in
1991 started a line of frozen vegetarian dinners.
As the wife of a musician who had long been a teen-age heartthrob and was
the last Beatle to be
married, Ms. McCartney first attracted the ire of her husband's fans, and eventually the respect of
many of them. When the McCartneys were married in London on March 12, 1969, hundreds of
crying girls packed the sidewalk outside the Marylebone Register Office. Later, when she toured
with McCartney, she took considerable criticism for her modest keyboard and vocal technique.
But the McCartneys' 29-year marriage was uncommonly steady by the standards
of the celebrity
world of which they were a part but from which they generally remained aloof, spending most of their
time on a farm in West Sussex, England. They never spent a night apart, except for the 10 days
McCartney spent in a Tokyo jail after he was arrested for marijuana possession; indeed, their
disinclination to be separated was part of McCartney's reason for having his wife in his touring band.
And McCartney, the composer of some of the rock era's most beautiful love
songs, has consistently
told interviewers that all his romantic ballads written after 1968 were about Linda. Those songs
include everything from "Maybe I'm Amazed" and "The Lovely Linda" on his first post-Beatles
album, "McCartney" (1970), "Long-Haired Lady" on "Ram" (1971) and "My Love" on "Red Rose
Speedway" (1973) to more recent songs like "We Got Married" and "Figure of Eight" on "Flowers in
the Dirt" (1989) and "Somedays" on "Flaming Pie" (1997), his most recent studio album.
McCartney was not the first to compose a song about Ms. McCartney. Her
father, Lee Eastman,
was a prominent show business lawyer in New York and one of his clients, Jack Lawrence, wrote
"Linda" for her in 1947 when she was 6. Buddy Clark had a hit with the song that year, and it was
later recorded by Perry Como and Jan and Dean.
Ms. McCartney also wrote a few songs, including the reggae-style "Seaside
Woman," which she and
McCartney released as a single in 1977 under the name Suzy and the Red Stripes, and "The
White-Coated Man," which she wrote with Carla Lane and released (also as Suzy and the Red
Stripes) on an animal-rights charity disk, "Animal Magnetism," in 1994.
She was born Linda Louise Eastman on September 24, 1941, and grew up in
Scarsdale, N.Y. As
she often pointed out, without ever dispelling the assertion entirely, she was not related to the
Eastmans of the Eastman-Kodak photography empire. In fact, her father had changed his name from
She described growing up in artistic and materialistic surroundings, with
a status-conscious mother
and a father whose friends and clients included the artist Willem de Kooning and the songwriters
Hoagy Carmichael and Harold Arlen.
Ms. McCartney attended Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Arizona.
While a student in
Arizona, she married and had a daughter, but the marriage ended in 1963.
Soon afterward, she took up photography, and in 1965 she returned to New
York, where she began
photographing rock groups, starting with the Dave Clark Five and the Rolling Stones. During the next
few years she befriended and photographed dozens of rock stars, including Jimi Hendrix, the Doors,
the Animals, Janis Joplin, the Mamas and the Papas, Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, the Beach Boys and
the Grateful Dead. A widely reproduced picture of the Beatles that she took at a press party for the
release of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" in 1967 captured the group on the eve of its
greatest artistic triumph.
Her photographs appeared in Rolling Stone and other rock magazines, and
in 1992 she published
several hundred of them as a book, "Linda McCartney's Sixties: Portrait of an Era."
Ms. McCartney met her future husband while photographing the Beatles in
London in 1967, and the
pair carried on an occasional romance for more than a year. In September 1968, McCartney asked
her to move to London, from which point they became inseparable. Although she took some stunning
pictures of the Beatles at work, she left most of them unpublished until she assembled her "Sixties"
book. Her photographs of McCartney, however, adorned some of his post-Beatles album covers,
and in one of his early television specials, "James Paul McCartney," he is shown singing a medley of
his songs while his wife did a photo shoot.
In addition to McCartney and the daughter from her first marriage, Heather,
Ms. McCartney is
survived by three children from her marriage with McCartney: Mary, Stella and James; and by her
brother John, who is now McCartney's lawyer and business manager, and two sisters, Laura and
Besides "Sixties," Ms. McCartney published several other books, including
"Linda's Pictures," "Sun
Prints," "Photographs" and "Road Works." Celebrities were by no means her only photographic
Plants, animals, natural patterns on rock faces and people she encountered
on her travels engaged
her interest and were captured with a touching refinement in many of her pictures. Her work has also
been the subject of exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Royal
Photographic Society in Bath, England, and at more than 50 galleries around the world.
The statement, which appeared to back up reports that the
cancer-stricken McCartney died in Arizona, quoted her doctor as
stating ``unequivocally and factually'' that McCartney ``did not
die in the county of Santa Barbara, or the state of
The statement did not specify where McCartney died, but the
family had hinted strongly it was at the McCartneys' ranch
outside Tucson, Arizona.
``The family hopes that they can maintain this one private
place that they have in the world,'' Paul McCartney's spokesman
said on Wednesday.
The Sheriff's statement said Dr. Lawrence Norton of New
York's Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center had contacted the
Santa Barbara Sheriff's Coroner Bureau by telephone to say he
was McCartney's oncologist/physician.
``Based on Dr. Norton's statement to us, the Santa Barbara
Sheriff's Office believes that we do not have any jurisdiction
in the death of Linda McCartney,'' the statement said.
It added that Norton was not the attending physician at the
time of McCartney's death, but that Norton had spoken to the
attending physician ``who confirmed to him that Linda McCartney
died of natural causes as a result of cancer.''
The Sheriff's department in Santa Barbara, 100 miles
north of Los Angeles, started an investigation when it found no
record of a death certificate even though the family originally
said she had died there.
In Tucson, Ariz., television and newspaper reports said
McCartney had died on a ranch outside Tucson which she and her
husband bought nearly 20 years ago, and that some of her ashes
were scattered there.
Tucson television station KVOA and the Arizona Daily Star
newspaper said that Pima County Medical Examiner Dr. Bruce Parks
authorized Linda McCartney's cremation, and the newspaper said
her death certificate was signed by a doctor at the Arizona
Cancer Center in Tucson.
A spokeswoman in the Medical Examiner's office and another
at the cancer center refused to confirm or deny the reports,
citing the fact that death certificates are not public record in
In London, Paul McCartney issued a statement to the Press
Association, Britain's domestic news service, saying, ``We know
that ordinary people would want our request for simple privacy
to be respected. This is a personal request from me.''
It was announced last Sunday that Linda McCartney had died
the previous Friday of complications of breast cancer while
vacationing in Santa Barbara, but no death certificate was filed
in Santa Barbara County, which would have been required by law
had she died there.
Death certificates are a matter of public record in
The Arizona Star, quoting unnamed sources, said half of
Linda McCartney's ashes were scattered over the family's
sprawling ranch outside Tucson, which the McCartneys bought in
British newspapers had reported that the ashes were also
scattered over the McCartneys' farm in southern England.
The mystery surrounding McCartney's death was compounded by
confusing statements from McCartney's spokesman, Geoff Baker,
and denials that it was an assisted suicide.
Baker hinted strongly in a statement issued Wednesday that
McCartney did not die in Santa Barbara.
``Everyone always assumed that it was Santa Barbara,
California. So in an effort to allow the family time to get back
to England in peace and in private, it was stated that she had
died in Santa Barbara,'' he said.
Believing that to be true, 600 people, including former
Animals lead singer Eric Burdon, a contemporary of Paul
McCartney, attended a memorial service for Linda McCartney in
Santa Barbara on Tuesday night.
On Wednesday, Paul McCartney issued a statement
saying any suggestion of assisted suicide was ``total nonsense,''
and Norton issued a statement saying McCartney ``died of
natural causes of metastic breast cancer.''
Infobeat and Reuters
LONDON (Reuters) -- Paul
McCartney has revealed that he knew
his wife Linda had just days to live --
but he decided not to tell her that
breast cancer had finally overwhelmed
McCartney, who spent just one night
apart from Linda in almost 30 years of
marriage before her death in April, said: "I knew a week or so before she
died. I was the only one who knew.
"One of the doctors said she ought to be told but I didn't want to tell
because I didn't think she'd want to know," the former Beatle confessed in
an interview in Saturday's Daily Mail.
For McCartney, her death was a double agony -- his mother had died of
breast cancer when he was just 14 years old.
"The best thing for getting it all out of your system is tears," said the
who enjoyed what was widely recognized as one of the closest marriages in
"Even though I am from a generation that used to hold them in -- and in
Liverpool when my mum died we did a lot of holding the tears in -- I am no
longer remotely like that," he said.
Finishing album of Linda's songs
Linda McCartney, the photographer who married
the pop icon and launched her own career as an
animal rights activist and vegetarian entrepreneur,
died at the family ranch in Arizona after losing her
three-year fight against cancer.
Paul McCartney is now putting the finishing touches
to an album of songs by Linda, who once faced the
enmity of fans for capturing their idol in the heyday
of the world's most famous pop group.
Danny Fields, who handled the family's public relations in New York, is
writing a biography of Linda which publishers said had sparked phenomenal
interest earlier this month at Frankfurt, the world's largest book fair.
Paul McCartney's grief is still very raw. He confessed to the Daily Mail:
the little things that really get you. I think I'll phone her and then say, 'Oh
His wife died in his arms with Paul telling Linda: "You are up on your
beautiful Appaloosa stallion. It's fine a spring day, we're riding through the
woods, the bluebells are out and the sky is clear blue."
Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.