"I think we should care more about each other. I think we should think about what we eat and how we live....and maybe I'm a dreamer." Linda McCartney
Rock photographer and animal rights activist Linda McCartney, the first wife of ex-Beatle Paul McCartney, came into the spotlight in the sixties as the photographer who published portraits of such rock legends as Janis Joplin, The Who, Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, the Grateful Dead, and the Mamas and the Papas in the pages of “Rolling Stone” and other leading magazines around the world. She has published several books of her photographs, including “Linda’s Pictures” (1976), “Sun Prints” (1989), “Linda McCartney’s Sixties: Portrait of an Era” (1992), “Roadworks” (1996) and “Open Wide: Photographs” (1999).
Linda married Paul in 1969 and after the split-up of The Beatles, the two formed a rock music group called Wings in 1971, with whom they released eight studio albums and had 12 top-10 singles in the U.K. and 14 top 10 singles (including six #1s) in the U.S. Linda and Paul also received both an Oscar and Grammy nomination for co-writing the title song for the James Bond movie starring Roger Moore, "Live and Let Die" (1973).
Linda was also known for her support of many social and environmental causes. She was a devoted animal rights activist and dedicated vegetarian who wrote several cookbooks and developed a successful line of frozen meat-free meals in the early 1990s.
Before marrying Paul, Linda was married to a geologist named John Melvin See Jr., with whom she had one daughter. She was married to Paul McCartney from 1969 until her death (breast cancer) in 1998.
Childhood and Family:
Born in New York, New York, on September 24, 1941, Linda Louise Eastman grew up in the wealthy Scarsdale area of Westchester County, in New York. Her father was the son of Jewish-Russian immigrants and had changed his name from Leopold Vail Epstein to Lee Eastman. He was a New York show-business/copyright attorney who represented a number of artists and musicians, including abstract expressionist painter Willem de Kooning, songwriter Jack Lawrence, and jazz musician Tommy Dorsey. Her mother, Louise Sara Lindner Eastman, heiress to the Lindner Department Store fortune, died in a plane crash when Linda was in her late teens (in 1962).
The second-eldest of four children, Linda has one brother named John (born on July 10, 1939) and two sisters, Laura (born in 1947) and Louise Jr. (born in 1950). Linda, a talented horseback rider, won several competitions as a child. She graduated from Scarsdale High School in 1960 and attended Sarah Lawrence College for a short time. She also studied art history at The University of Arizona, where she received a BFA degree.
While attending The University of Arizona, Linda met John Melvin See Jr., a geologist. They got married on June 18, 1962, and have a daughter named Heather Louise (prominent potter and designer; born on December 31, 1962; dated musician Billy Idol during the early 1980s). Linda and John divorced in June 1965. See Jr. later committed suicide in 2000 at his home in Tucson, Arizona.
“I wasn't looking for another marriage. I had been married before. He is a nice man, a geologist, an Ernest Hemingway type. But Paul and I married because of convention.” Linda McCartney
In May 1967, Linda met The Beatles member Paul McCartney (born on June 18, 1942) at a Georgie Fame concert at London's The Bag O'Nails club and the pair become inseparable. They tied the knot on March 12, 1969. Linda had a brush with the law in 1975 when she was arrested in Los Angeles for possession of marijuana, although all charges were later dropped. Nine years later, in 1984, the McCartneys were arrested in Barbados for possession of marijuana and were fined $100 each. They flew to Heathrow Airport, in London, where Linda was arrested again on charges of possession.
Linda and Paul had three children together, Mary Anna McCartney (professional photographer; born in London in 1969), Stella McCartney (fashion designer; born in 1971), and James Louis McCartney (musician, songwriter and sculptor; born in 1977).
“Our kids haven't any airs about them. I don't like posh kids who don't like dirty dolls or expect a chauffeur every time they go out.” Linda McCartney
In addition to her devotion to family, Linda supported many social and environmental causes. She worked extensively for The Council For The Protection of Rural England and Friends Of The Earth to highlight environmental dangers.
A devoted animal rights activist and dedicated vegetarian, Linda wrote several cookbooks and developed a successful line of frozen meat-free meals in the early 1990s. She was also an active member of PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and was a patron of the League Against Cruel Sports.
“I don't eat anything with a face.” Linda McCartney
Linda became Lady McCartney when her husband was knighted in 1997. Her brother, entertainment lawyer John Eastman, has represented Paul McCartney since the break-up of The Beatles.
In late 1995, Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer and after having surgery and many rounds of chemotherapy, she finally lost her battle with the disease on April 17, 1998, at the age of 56 at the McCartney Family Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. Her husband, Paul McCartney, and their four children were at her bedside. Memorial services were held in England as well as in California and New York. Linda left her entire estate to Paul through a Qualified Domestic Trust Fund.
After her death, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) created the Linda McCartney Memorial Award in her honor. She is portrayed by Elizabeth Mitchell in “The Linda McCartney Story” (2000; TV) and the 200th episode of "The Simpsons" (1989), "Trash of the Titans," was dedicated to her memory.
Live and Let Die
“I became a professional photographer by accident.” Linda McCartney.
While in the Southwest, Linda McCartney began studying photography and showed a natural talent for the art. She reportedly first worked as a receptionist for “Town and Country” magazine before eventually getting her big break as a rock photographer after being the only unofficial photographer on board the SS Sea Panther yacht on the Hudson River who was allowed to take photographs of The Rolling Stones during a record promotion party. She subsequently spent the 1960s publishing portraits of such rock legends as Janis Joplin, The Who, Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, the Grateful Dead, and the Mamas and the Papas in the pages of “Rolling Stone” and other leading magazines around the world, including “Life.” She photographed Eric Clapton (she boasted Eric Clapton as a sometime babysitter for daughter Heather McCartney) for the cover of “Rolling Stone” magazine on May 11, 1968, making her the first woman to do so, and would appear alongside her husband Paul McCartney on the cover of “Rolling Stone” on January 31, 1974.
“Paul and I have lasted this long close together, so we must have something going for each other.” Linda McCartney
After marrying the Beatles member Paul McCartney and following the disbandment of the legendary group, Linda began studying piano at Paul's insistence. Together, they started a rock music group called Wings in August 1971, with Linda on the keyboard and singing backup vocals. The group achieved widespread success during the 1970s and early 1980s.
Along with Wings, Linda released eight studio albums, "Wild Life" (1971; UK #11; US #10), "Red Rose Speedway" (1973; UK #5; US #1), "Band on the Run" (1973; UK #1; US #1), "Venus and Mars" (1975; UK #1, US #1), "Wings at the Speed of Sound" (1976; UK #2; US #1), "Wings over America" (1976; UK #8; US #1), "London Town" (1978; UK #4; US #2), and "Back to the Egg" (1979; UK #6; US #8). They had 12 top 10 singles in the UK and 14 top 10 singles (including six #1s) in the U.S. All 23 singles credited by Wings rose to the U.S. Top 40. Their singles include "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" (1972; UK #16; US #21), "Mary Had a Little Lamb/Little Woman Love" (1972; UK #9; US #28), "Hi Hi Hi/C Moon" (1972; UK #5; US #10), "Listen to What the Man Said" (1975; UK #6; US #1), "Silly Love Songs" (1976; UK #2; US #1), "Let 'em In" (1976; UK #2; US #3), "Maybe I'm Amazed" (1977; UK #28; US #10), "Mull of Kintyre/Girls School" (1977; UK #1; US #33), "With a Little Luck" (1978; UK #5; US #1) and "Goodnight Tonight" (1979; UK #5; US #5).
During this time, Linda and Paul received both an Oscar and Grammy nomination for co-writing the title song for the James Bond movie starring Roger Moore, "Live and Let Die" (1973). Linda also served as a composer, actress, writer, producer and cinematographer for director Oscar Grillo's short film "Seaside Woman" (1980), which won the Golden Palm at the Cannes Filmfestival in 1980.
Linda published several books of her photographs, including “Linda’s Pictures” (1976), “Sun Prints” (1989), “Linda McCartney’s Sixties: Portrait of an Era” (1992) and “Roadworks” (1996). Exhibitions of her photography have appeared in some 50 galleries worldwide. She has also been exhibited in London’s prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum and has been voted “USA’s Female Photographer Of The Year.”
“Photography was an interest at first, then a passion.” Linda McCartney
Additionally, Linda earned respect as a high-profile force for animal rights. A devoted vegetarian, she published a series of best-selling cookbooks, “Home Cooking” (1989) and “Linda's Kitchen” (1995), among others. She also created her own highly profitable line of frozen vegetarian meals produced at ecologically-sensitive factories. She supported many social and environmental causes and worked extensively for The Council For The Protection of Rural England and Friends Of The Earth.
Following her death in 1998, a collection of solo recordings, “Wide Prairie,” was issued later that same year. “Open Wide: Photographs,” a book of her work, was published a year after her death. Linda's legacy continues on through her art and charitable efforts.
“If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian.” Linda McCartney