Bio: Linda McCartney
On September 24th 1941, Linda Louise Eastman was born in New York City.
Eastman was of Jewish descent. Her father was born Leopold Vail Epstein, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants; later changing his name to Lee Eastman. Eastman worked as an attorney for songwriter Jack Lawrence and would later go on to represent Paul McCartney.
Linda's mother Louise Sara Eastman was from a German Jewish family, the daughter of Max J. Linder, who was the founder of the Linder Company clothing store. Louise died tragically in 1962 from the crash of United Airlines Flight 1. This would sour Linda on the idea of flying throughout her life.
Eastman grew up in Westchester County, New York City, graduating from Scarsdale High School in 1959. After high school she attended Vermont College, where she received an Associate of Arts degree. While at Vermont Linda met her first husband Joseph Melville See, Jr. Eastman and See where married on June 18th, 1962; and Linda gave birth to their one and only child Heather Louise, on December 31st, 1962. The couple divorced in June of 1965.
Meeting Paul McCartney
Eastman later became a photographer working for the Fillmore East Concert Hall. While on assignment in the UK taking photographs of musicians, she met Paul McCartney at the Bag O'Nails club in London, on May 15th 1967. The future couple then famously met again four days later when The Beatles' were promoting Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band.
"The night I met Linda I was in the Bag O'Nails watching Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames play a great set. Speedy was banging away. She was there with the Animals, who she knew from photographing them in New York. They were sitting a couple of alcoves down, near the stage. The band had finished and they got up to either leave or go for a drink or a pee or something, and she passed our table. I was near the edge and stood up just as she was passing, blocking her exit. And so I said, 'Oh, sorry. Hi. How are you? How're you doing?' I introduced myself, and said, 'We're going on to another club after this, would you like to join us?'
That was my big pulling line! Well, I'd never used it before, of course, but it worked this time! It was a fairly slim chance but it worked. She said, 'Yes, okay, we'll go on. How shall we do it?' I forget how we did it. 'You come in our car' or whatever, and we all went on, the people I was with and the Animals, we went on to the Speakeasy." - Paul McCartney
"We flirted a bit, and then it was time for me to go back with them and Paul said, 'Well, we're going to another club. You want to come?' I remember everybody at the table heard A Whiter Shade Of Pale that night for the first time and we all thought, Who is that? Stevie Winwood? We all said Stevie. The minute that record came out, you just knew you loved it. That's when we actually met. Then we went back to his house. We were in the Mini with I think Lulu and Dudley Edwards, who painted Paul's piano; Paul was giving him a lift home. I was impressed to see his Magrittes." - Linda McCartney
Marriage to Paul McCartney
Paul and Linda crossed paths once more in New York in May of 1968, when John and Paul were there to announce Apple Corps. In September of 1968 Linda got a phone call from Paul asking her to fly over. They married six months later at Marylebone registry office on March 12th, 1969. Their union broke the hearts of millions of Beatles' fans worldwide, but began a marriage that would span 29 years until Linda's death.
Throughout her life Linda was a vegetarian and animal rights activist. She turned Paul onto vegetarianism in 1975 and he helped setup Linda's own line of vegetarian meals under the Linda McCartney Foods brand.
Linda passed away on April 17th 1998 from breast cancer. She is survived by Mary, Stella, James and Heather McCartney; Paul adopted Heather from Linda's first marriage.