We’ve all heard the saying ‘behind every great man is a great woman.’ That’s fine and dandy but what about the women who can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their guy, no leaning needed? Anyone breathing can readily identify Paul McCartney, but not many are aware of the greatness in the woman who stood by his side for almost 30 years. Linda McCartney (1941-1998) was one amazing woman with multiple talents including photography, music, and culinary arts.
Linda Louise Eastman entered the world with ‘destined for greatness’ etched in her life story. She was the daughter of Lee and Sara Linda Eastman, heiress to the Linder Department Store fortune. Her father was a lawyer who represented Broadway songwriter Jack Lawrence. Linda’s early life was quite comfy and she was surrounded by prominent people from the very beginning. Jack Lawrence even wrote a song called ‘Linda’ about her. The song was recorded by Buddy Clark in 1947.
Upon graduation from the University of Arizona, Linda started to work as a receptionist for Town & Country Magazine and had a side gig as the only unofficial photographer on the SS Sea Panther yacht. She moved on up from there and became the house photographer for the Fillmore East concert hall in New York’s East Village. In the hall is where she had the honor of photographing musical legends such as Aretha Franklin, Grace Slick, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Eric Clapton, Simon & Garfunkel, The Who, The Doors, The Animals, and Neil Young. The photo she took of Eric Clapton became the cover photo for the May 11, 1968 issue of Rolling Stone making McCartney the first woman to have a photo featured on the magazines cover. She earned double honors when she appeared on the cover with Paul in January 1974. She was the first person, male or female, to shoot for and appear on the cover.
Outside of snapping images, Linda was a mother of 4 and lived a vegetarian lifestyle. She converted her husband and released her own series of cookbooks: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, Linda’s Kitchen, and Simple and Inspiring Recipes for Meatless Meals. She was quite passionate about not eating meat. When asked why she chose to be an herbivore, she simply replied by saying she refused to ‘eat anything with a face.’ Linda was even persistent enough to manufacture her own frozen meals. Linda McCartney Foods was born in 1991 and released a line of vegetarian TV dinners. This endeavor made her a fortune and was done without the help, or power, of her husband. Heinz bought LMF in 2000.Linda was also an animal rights activist. She supported PETA to no end and even loaned her voice for a PETA commercial.
Have you ever seen a fish gasping for breath when you take it out of the water? They’re saying, ‘Thanks a lot for killing me. It feels great, you know.’ No! It hurts!’
The active life of Linda McCartney began to wind down in 1995 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The cancer spread rapidly and eventually invaded Linda’s liver as well. She passed on April 17, 1998 at the family ranch in Tucson, Arizona. Paul’s lat words to his beloved 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”.
Image Layout: Phaymiss
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