DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Jerry Garcia (aged 53)
American musician and member of the Grateful Dead
Jerome John “Jerry” Garcia (August 1, 1942 – August 9, 1995) was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known for his work as the lead guitarist and as a vocalist with the band the Grateful Dead, which came to prominence during the counterculture era in the 1960s. Although he disavowed the role, Garcia was viewed by many as the leader or “spokesman” of the group.
DEATH: On August 9, 1995, at 4:23 am, eight days after his 53rd birthday, Garcia was found dead in his room at the rehabilitation clinic. The cause of death was a heart attack. Garcia had long struggled with drug addiction, weight problems, sleep apnea, heavy smoking, and diabetes—all of which contributed to his physical decline. Lesh remarked that, upon hearing of Garcia’s death, “I was struck numb; I had lost my oldest surviving friend, my brother.” Garcia’s funeral was held on August 12, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Belvedere. It was attended by his family, the remaining Grateful Dead members, and their friends, including former pro basketball player Bill Walton and musician Bob Dylan. Deborah Koons barred Garcia’s former wives from the ceremony.