Linda McCartney : biography
Linda Louise, Lady McCartney (née Eastman; formerly See; 24 September 1941 – 17 April 1998) was an American photographer, musician and animal rights activist. Her father and mother were Lee Eastman, a New York lawyer, and Louise Sara Lindner Eastman.
In 1969, she married Paul McCartney, and later joined McCartney’s band, Wings. In the same year McCartney adopted her daughter, Heather Louise, from her first marriage to Joseph Melville See. The McCartneys had three children: Mary Anna, Stella Nina, and James Louis. She was granted the courtesy title Lady McCartney when her husband was knighted in 1997.
She wrote several vegetarian cookbooks, became a business entrepreneur (starting the Linda McCartney Foods company), and was a professional photographer, publishing Linda McCartney’s Sixties: Portrait of an Era. McCartney was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995, and died at the age of 56 on 17 April 1998 in Tucson, Arizona, where the McCartneys had a ranch.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995, and her condition soon grew worse as it spread to her liver. Her husband’s last words to her were: "You’re up on your beautiful Appaloosa stallion. It’s a fine spring day. We’re riding through the woods. The bluebells are all out, and the sky is clear-blue". She died on 17 April 1998 (age 56), at the McCartney family ranch in Tucson, Arizona. She was cremated in Tucson, and her ashes were scattered at the McCartney farm in Sussex. Her husband later suggested that fans remember her by donating to breast cancer research charities that do not support animal testing, "or the best tribute — go veggie". A memorial service was held for her at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, which was attended by George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Elton John, Peter Gabriel and other celebrities among a congregation of 700. A memorial service was also held at Riverside Church in Manhattan, two months after her death.
Talking later about the medication used to treat her breast cancer, Paul McCartney said: "If a drug has got to be used on humans then legally it has to be finally tested on an animal … This was difficult for Linda when she was undergoing her treatment." He also claimed that she was unsure if the drugs she took had been tested on animals: "During the treatment, a nice answer is a nice answer and if they (the doctors), say, ‘It’s OK to have this because we didn’t test it on animals’, you are going to believe them." She left her entire fortune to her husband in a special trust, known as a Qualified Domestic Trust, which allows deferral of estate taxes due on her assets until after his death. He will have access to any royalties from books, records and any financial remuneration for the use of his wife’s photographs. He has pledged to continue her line of vegetarian food, and to keep it free from genetically modified organisms. Wide Prairie, a six-minute cartoon fantasy film by her and director Oscar Grillo, was premièred at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on August 19, 1998. It was shown before the British première of The Horse Whisperer, starring Robert Redford. On 10 April 1999, McCartney performed at the tribute "Concert for Linda" in the Royal Albert Hall, with numerous artists including George Michael, the Pretenders, Elvis Costello and Tom Jones. In January 2000, he announced donations in excess of $2,000,000 for cancer research at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and the Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson, where Linda received treatment. The centers received $1 million (£625,000) each. The donations, through the Garland Appeal, were made on the condition no animals would be used for testing purposes. In 2000, The Linda McCartney Centre, a cancer clinic, opened at The Royal Liverpool University Hospital. In November 2002, the Linda McCartney Kintyre Memorial Trust opened a memorial garden in Campbeltown — the main town in Kintyre — with the dedication of a bronze statue of her by sculptor Jane Robbins, McCartney’s cousin, which was commissioned and donated by McCartney.