How did Jerry Garcia die? Here is the untold story

How did Jerry Garcia die? Here is the untold story

Jerry Garcia was a dedicated and talented vocalist, songwriter and instrumentalist. He played the guitar, piano, banjo, bass and pedal steel guitar to a high standard. His brilliance when playing his guitar to any genre of music put him on the map. How did Jerry Garcia die?

Jerry Garcia
Jerome performs with Jerry and the Mountain Boys at Frost Amphitheatre on 26 August 1988 in Palo Alto, California. Photo: Tim Mosenfelder
Source: Getty Images

Besides his musical expertise, Jerry Garcia was renowned for co-founding the band Grateful Dead and being an icon of the Hippie counterculture of the 1960s. Go through these details as they explore answers to the question, how did Jerry Garcia die?

Jerry Garcia's profile summary and bio

Full name Jerome John Garcia
Stage name Jerry Garcia
NicknamesCaptain Trips, The Fat Man, Spud
Date of birth1 August 1942
Place of birth San Francisco, California, U.S.
Death date 9 August 9 1995 (Forest Knolls, California, U.S.)
Age 53 years old
Eye colour Dark brown
Hair colour White
Height 179 cm or 5′ 10½″
OccupationMusician and songwriter
Genres Psychedelic rock, blues rock, folk rock, country rock, jam rock, bluegrass, roots rock
Instruments Guitar and vocals
Years active 1960–1995
Labels Rhino, Arista, Warner Bros., Acoustic Disc, Grateful Dead
SpousesDeborah Koons Garcia (1994–1995), Carolyn Adams (1981–1994), Sara Ruppenthal (1963–1967)
Parents Jose Ramon Garcia and Ruth Marie Clifford
Social mediaFacebookWebsite

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How old was Jerry when he died?

The singer was born Jerome John Garcia on 1 August 1942 to Jose Ramon Garcia and Ruth Marie Clifford. Jerry Garcia's death date was 9 August 1995.

Jerry Garcia's age at death was 53 years old. He died one week after his birthday.

Jerry Garcia's family and early life

Garcia was born to a family that adored music. His father was a jazz musician, and his mother, a registered nurse, named him after her favourite composer, Jerome Kern.

Garcia had a troubled childhood; he lost his middle finger at the age of 4 in a woodcutting accident with his elder brother, Tiff. A year later, he witnessed his father's drowning in a river during a fishing accident. He suffered from bouts of asthma attacks, which often left him bedridden.

Nonetheless, Jerome had a talent for art, which would later become a lifelong interest. He listened to lots of jazz and country music when it began to cause a stir in the mid-1950s.

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Throughout his upbringing, Jerome had little interest in education until 1957, when he joined the California School of Fine Arts and got his first guitar. Three years later, he joined the army but was discharged a few months later.

Jerry Garcia
Garcia's performance at Squaw Valley ski area on 25 August 1991 in Squaw Valley, California. Photo Tim Mosenfelder
Source: Getty Images

Who did Jerry Garcia have a child with?

Jerome married Sara Ruppenthal, his first wife, in 1963. Heather, Jerry Garcia's daughter, was born later that year. Unfortunately, they divorced in 1967.

Garcia had two more kids with his girlfriend, Carolyn Adams, whom he eventually married but divorced in 1994. The singer rekindled his relationship with his ex-girlfriend, Deborah Koons, in 1993. They married in February 1994 and were still married when Jerry Garcia died in 1995.

Jerry Garcia's music career

Jerome returned to San Francisco to fully pursue his music career, playing in coffeehouses within the town. He became famous between 1962 and 1964 for his folk and bluegrass performances.

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Garcia later started experimenting with new styles of music other than essential folk music, including jug band Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions. A year later, the band became the Warlocks, which soon became the Grateful Dead.

Garcia worked on several side projects with other groups, including:

  • Jefferson Airplane
  • New Riders of the Purple Sage
  • Old and in the Way
  • Legion of Mary
  • The Jerry Garcia Band

Over the next three decades, the Grateful Dead became the most popular live band in history. It played in some of the most legendary concerts, including Monterey Pop (1967), Woodstock (1969) and Watkins Glen (1973).

Jerry Garcia
Garcia of the Grateful Dead in Seattle, WA, on 26 May 1995. Photo: Jeff Kravitz
Source: Getty Images

Why was Jerry Garcia so famous?

Garcia gained popularity for his affiliation with the Grateful Dead band, which enjoyed an incredibly loyal fan base. The band had one hit single, Touch of Grey, from its 1987 album, In the Dark. The Grateful Dead band released 13 albums:

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  • Grateful Dead (1967)
  • Sun (1968)
  • Aoxomoxoa (1969)
  • Workingmans Dead (1970)
  • American Beauty (1970)
  • Wake of the Flood (1973)
  • From the Mars Hotel (1974)
  • Blues for Allah (1975)
  • Terrapin Station (1977)
  • Shakedown Steet (1978)
  • Go to Heaven (1980)
  • In the Dark (1987)
  • Built to Last (1989)

What happened to Jerry Garcia?

Jerome was a proponent of psychedelics, and by the 1970s, he had slowed down on creating music since he battled health issues related to substance abuse. In 1986, he went into a coma and nearly died.

After recovery, he went back to creating music. He collaborated with David Grisman, his former bandmate, on several projects, including Not for Kids Only (1992), and four more studio albums, which were released posthumously.

What caused Jerry Garcia's death?

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In 1995, Jerome tried to tackle his struggle with drug addiction. His overall health was also a concern since he had breathing issues caused by years of heavy smoking. He was also overweight.

Jerry Garcia
Garcia of the Jerry Gacia Band performing at the Eel River on 10 August, 1991, in Garberville, California. Photo :Tim Mosenfelde
Source: Getty Images

When did Jerry Garcia die, and how?

Garcia sought medical help from the Serenity Knolls treatment centre in Marin County, California. Unfortunately, he died on 9 August 1995. Jerry Garcia's cause of death was ruled as a massive heart attack.

Where is Jerry Garcia buried?

Jerome was cremated, and his ashes split and scattered in the two locations he considered sacred. Half of the ashes were scattered underneath San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, and the other half in the Ganges River in India.

How much was Jerry Garcia worth when he died?

Jerry Garcia's net worth when he died was $15 million. His estate was not liquid at the time of his death.

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How did Jerry Garcia die? Besides getting to the depths of the answer to the question, these details highlight his rise to musical fame and the events leading up to his death.

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Source: Briefly News

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