Bill Graham (born Wulf Wolodia Grajonca; January 8, 1931 – October 25, 1991) was a German-American impresario and rock concert promoter from the 1960s until his death in 1991 in a helicopter crash. On July 4, 1939 he was sent from Germany to France to escape the Nazis. At age 10 he settled in a foster home in the Bronx, New York. Graham graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School and from City College with a business degree.
In the early 1960s, he moved to San Francisco, and, in 1965, began to manage the San Francisco Mime Troupe. He had teamed up with local Haight Ashbury promoter Chet Helms and Family Dog, and their network of contacts, to organize a benefit concert, then promoted several free concerts. This eventually turned into a profitable full-time career and he assembled a talented staff. Graham had a profound influence around the world, sponsoring the musical renaissance of the '60s from the epicenter, San Francisco. Chet Helms and then Bill Graham made famous the Fillmore and Winterland Arena; these turned out to be a proving grounds for rock bands and acts of the San Francisco Bay area including the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin, who were first managed, and in some cases developed, by Chet Helms.
Bill Graham, circa 1990
Wulf Wolodia Grajonca
January 8, 1931
|Died||October 25, 1991 (aged 60)|
Near Vallejo, California, U.S.
|Other names||Uncle Bobo|
|Occupation||Businessman, musical impresario|
|Years active||1960s–1991; his death|
|Organization||Bill Graham Presents|
|Spouse(s)||Bonnie MacLean (divorced; 1 child)|
Graham was born in Berlin, the youngest child and only son of lower middle-class parents, Frieda (née Sass) and Jacob "Yankel" Grajonca, who had emigrated from Russia before the rise of Nazism. His father died two days after his son's birth.
Graham was nicknamed "Wolfgang" by his family early in life. Due to the increasing peril to Jews in Germany, Graham's mother placed her son and her youngest daughter, Tanya "Tolla", in a Berlin orphanage, which sent them to France in a pre-Holocaust exchange of Jewish children for Christian orphans. Graham's older sisters Sonja and Ester stayed behind with their mother. After the fall of France, Graham was among a group of Jewish orphans spirited out of France, some of whom finally reached the USA. But a majority, including Tolla Grajonca, did not survive the difficult journey. He was one of the One Thousand Children (OTC), those mainly Jewish children who managed to flee Hitler and Europe, and come directly to North America, but whose parents were forced to stay behind. Nearly all these OTC parents were killed by the Reich. Graham's mother died at Auschwitz. Graham had five sisters, Rita, Evelyn, Sonia, Ester and Tolla, the elder four of whom survived the Holocaust. Rita and Ester moved to the United States and were close to Graham in his later life. Evelyn and Sonia escaped the Holocaust, first to Shanghai, and later, after the war, to Europe.
Once in the United States, Graham was placed in a foster home in The Bronx in New York City. After being taunted as an immigrant and being called a Nazi because of his German-accented English, Graham worked on his accent, eventually being able to speak in a perfect New York accent. He changed his name to sound more "American." (He found "Graham" in the phone book—it was the closest he could find to his birth surname, "Grajonca". According to Graham, both "Bill" and "Graham" were meaningless to him.) Graham graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School and then obtained a business degree from City College. He was later quoted as describing his training as that of an "efficiency expert".
Graham was drafted into the United States Army in 1951, and served in the Korean War, where he was awarded both the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Upon his return to the States he worked as a waiter/maître d' in Catskill Mountain resorts in upstate New York during their heyday. He was quoted saying that his experience as a maître d' and with the poker games he hosted behind the scenes was good training for his eventual career as a promoter. Tito Puente, who played some of these resorts, went on record saying that Graham was avid to learn Spanish from him, but only cared about the curse words.
Graham moved from New York to San Francisco in the early 1960s to be closer to his sister Rita. He was invited to attend a free concert in Golden Gate Park, produced by Chet Helms and the Diggers, where he made contact with the San Francisco Mime Troupe, a radical theater group. After Mime Troupe leader Ronnie Davis was arrested on obscenity charges during an outdoor performance, Graham organized a benefit concert to cover the troupe's legal fees. The concert was a success and Graham saw a business opportunity. Bill Graham began promoting more concerts with Chet and backing Chet Helms and Family Dog projects, which provided a vital function of the 1960s, promoting concerts which provided a social meeting place to network, where many ideologies were given a forum, sometimes even on stage, such as peace movements, civil rights, farm workers and others. Most of his shows were performed at rented venues, and Graham saw a need for more permanent locations of his own. Charles Sullivan was a mid-20th-century entrepreneur and businessman in San Francisco who owned the master lease on the Fillmore Auditorium.
Graham approached Sullivan to put on the Second Mime Troupe appeals concert at the Fillmore Auditorium on December 10, 1965, using Sullivan's dance hall permit for the show. Graham later secured a contract from Sullivan for the open dates at the Fillmore Auditorium in 1966. Graham credits Sullivan with giving him his break in the music concert hall business. Charles Sullivan was found murdered on August 2, 1966 in San Francisco. The murder remains unsolved.
The Fillmore trademark and franchise has defined music promotion in the United States for the last 50 years. From 2003–13 auxiliary writers of the times surrounding the 1960s, and Graham family lawsuits, tell the narrative of the Fillmore phenomena and how the black community there was disenfranchised. The best way to set the historic record straight concerning Charles Sullivan and Bill Graham is to review what Graham left in his own words. Historically the first time Graham mentioned Charles Sullivan, in print, is this article from 1988, "The Historic Fillmore's New Tradition by Keith Moerer"
Bill Graham—and anyone who's even attended a show at San Francisco Fillmore—owes a big debt to Charles Sullivan..."If Mr. Sullivan, Charles, hadn't stood by me and allowed me to use his permit I wouldn't be sitting here."
Although Graham acknowledged Sullivan's part he historically has never revealed how he got the lease to the Fillmore Auditorium and how and when he trademarked the Fillmore brand, which by all historical accounts belonged to Sullivan. In a handbill from Graham's first show at the Fillmore Auditorium, "The Mime Troupe is holding another appeal party Friday night, December 10th, at the Fillmore Auditorium", Bill Graham gives a general impression of the Fillmore neighborhood.
The Fillmore Auditorium was located on Fillmore and Geary which was like 125th Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem...In there, Charles Sullivan, a black businessman, had booked a lot of the best R&B acts...Charles had put on James Brown and Duke Ellington. At the Fillmore, Bobby Bland and the Temptations...I met Charles Sullivan by appointment the second time I saw the ballroom...We needed a dance permit but I didn't have one. Of course he had one because he operated the place. So he allowed us to use his permit and didn't charge me for it.
Ronny Davis states that "Graham... gets very excited about the success of the Fillmore Auditorium Show. He gets a contract with the black guy who owned the Fillmore. He nails it. Closed." On pages 150–156 of his autobiography Graham outlined his battles with City Hall in getting a dance hall permit. By schmoozing with merchants and having criminologists and sociologists from U.C. Berkeley and U.C. Santa Cruz giving merit to the shows Graham managed to obtain a second permit hearing, but was again denied. He reported that Sullivan came to him sometime in March or April and announced he had to pull his dance hall permit. The morning of the next day when Graham is returning to move out of his office in the Fillmore Auditorium, Sullivan meets him on the steps. Graham claimed Sullivan poured out his life story concluding with a pledge of support to Graham to beat City Hall. Graham added, "He was the guy, Charles. He was it. I don't know if I could have ever found another place. Why would I have even tried? That was the place."
Graham was denied by the Board of Permit Appeals who refused to overrule the first denial. Bill then states "Then on April 21, 1966, a Thursday, the Chronicle ran an editorial, 'The Fillmore Auditorium Case'...[I]t was a big turning point for me. In more ways than one"; he secured his permit. He later reported "A few months later, Charles Sullivan got himself killed. He had a bad habit of always carrying a roll of money with him. He was proud of his work and proud of the fact that he earned a good living and always carried a roll. They jumped him and stabbed him to death. I went to his funeral in Colma, California. It was small, mostly family. Had that not happened, I think I would have done anything Charles wanted. Just out of gratitude."
After Graham's death on October 25, 1991 the description of his funeral procession states:
Escorted by motorcycle police, more long black limousines than had ever before been seen at a private funeral in the city of San Francisco formed a phalanx for the procession to the cemetery. Bill was to be buried in Colma, the same small town south of San Francisco filled with graveyards where so many years before Bill himself had gone to the funeral of Charles Sullivan, the black man who stood up for him when the Fillmore Auditorium was on the line.
Charles Sullivan was found shot dead at 1:45am on August 2, 1966, at 5th and Bluxome Streets, San Francisco (South of Market industrial area near the train station). Sullivan had just returned from Los Angeles where he had presented a weekend concert starring soul singer James Brown. The police were undetermined whether it was suicide or homicide. Sullivan was laid to rest on August 8, 1966, according to the Sun Reporter, which reported that "Last respects were paid Charles Sullivan Monday, Aug. 8, when hundreds crowded into Jones Memorial Methodist Church, 1975 Post St. from 11:30 a.m. to view Sullivan for the last time. An enormous crowd had gathered by 1 p.m. to hear the eulogy for a friend." The funeral announcement is accompanied by photographs of the actual funeral covering two pages in which police are stopping traffic to assist the motorcade to the Cemetery in Colma.
Of note in the articles surrounding Sullivan's murder an interesting fact is pointed out in The Sun Reporter. "He took over the Fillmore Auditorium at Geary and Fillmore Sts. and began to present different artists in dances and concerts. Some of the greatest names in the entertainment world, like Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Ray Charles and numerous others, have been presented all up and down the Pacific Coast by Sullivan. He always signed these artists for presentations not only in San Francisco, but in Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland and Seattle." According to the historical record Sullivan also named the Fillmore Auditorium.
Graham's struggle to get his dance hall permit in 1966 was described in an article in Billboard Magazine, July 11, 1966. San Francisco music critic Ralph Gleason, in defense of Graham's Fillmore Auditorium scene, wrote that Graham got a three-year lease for the Fillmore Auditorium from Charles Sullivan and was still struggling to procure his dance hall permit. A fact never publicly revealed by Graham. Charles Sullivan's last show at the Fillmore Auditorium came a week before his murder, it was on July 26, 1966, The Temptations Dance and Show. Graham must have gotten his permit in mid July 1966 confirming his possession of the Fillmore brand. When and how did Bill Graham take possession of the Fillmore Auditorium lease? The answer would come in 2004. Politics Observations & Arguments (1966-2004), by Hendrik Hertzberg. Penguin Press: New York (2004) contains an article, "The San Francisco Sound, New music, new subculture", at the end of which it is stated, "-Unpublished file for Newsweek, October 28, 1966". This articles contains the only published account where Bill Graham reports how he got the Fillmore Auditorium. In the beginning Hertzberg recounts familiar territory with the Mime Troupe, reducing the Fillmore Auditorium to a run-down ballroom in SF's biggest negro ghetto. After the success of the Fillmore Auditorium Mime Troupe shows Graham parts with the Troupe, "He went back to the Fillmore and found that eleven other promoters had already put in bids for it. Graham got forty-one prominent citizens to write letters to the auditorium's owner, a haberdasher named Harry Shifs, and Shifs gave him a three-year lease at five hundred dollars a month ... [T]he hippie community ... has turned out to be something the man from Montgomery Street can point to with pride, in a left-handed way, and say 'these are our boys'", stated Jerry Garcia.
One of the early concerts Graham sponsored, with Chet Helms hired to promote it, featured the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. The concert was an overwhelming success and Graham saw an opportunity with the band. Early the next morning, Graham's secretary called the band's manager, Albert Grossman, and obtained exclusive rights to promote them. Shortly thereafter, Chet Helms arrived at Graham's office, asking how Graham could have cut him out of the deal. Graham pointed out that Helms would not have known about it unless he had tried to do the same thing to Graham. He advised Helms to "get up early" in the future. Graham produced shows attracting elements of America's now legendary 1960s counterculture such as the Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Country Joe and the Fish, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the improv group The Committee, The Fugs, Allen Ginsberg, and a particular favorite of Graham's, the Grateful Dead. He was the manager of the Jefferson Airplane during 1967 and 1968. His staff's amount of resourcefulness, success, popularity, and personal contacts with artists and fans alike was one reason Graham became the top rock concert promoter in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Graham owned Fillmore Records, which was in operation from 1969 to 1976. Some of those who signed with Graham included Rod Stewart, Elvin Bishop, and Cold Blood, although of these it seems only Bishop actually issued albums on the Fillmore label. Tower of Power was signed to Bill Graham's San Francisco Records and their first album, East Bay Grease, was recorded in 1970.
By 1971, Graham citing financial reasons, closed the Fillmore East and West, claiming a need to "find [himself]". The movie Fillmore and the album Fillmore: The Last Days document the closing of the Fillmore West. Graham later returned to promoting. He began organizing concerts at smaller venues, like the Berkeley Community Theatre on the campus of Berkeley High School. He then reopened the Winterland Arena (San Francisco), along with the Fillmore West and promoted shows at the Cow Palace Arena in Daly City and other venues.
In 1973 he promoted the largest outdoor concert at Watkins Glen, New York with The Band, Grateful Dead, and The Allman Brothers Band. Over 600,000 paying ticket-holders were in attendance. He continued promoting stadium-sized concerts at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco with Led Zeppelin in 1973 and 1977 and started a series of outdoor stadium concerts at the Oakland Coliseum each billed as Day on the Green in 1973 until 1992. These concerts featured billings such as the Grateful Dead and The Who on October 9, 1976, and the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan in 1987.
His first large-scale outdoor benefit concert, at Kezar Stadium, on Sunday, March 23, 1975, "SF SNACK", was organized to replace funds for after-school programs canceled by the San Francisco Unified School District, with performances by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, members of The Band and Grateful Dead, Jefferson Starship, Mimi Fariña, Joan Baez, Santana, Tower of Power, Jerry Garcia & Friends, The Doobie Brothers, Eddie Palmieri & His Orchestra, The Miracles, Graham Central Station, and appearing : Marlon Brando, Francis Ford Coppola, Frankie Albert, John Brodie, Rosie Casals, Werner Erhard, Cedric Hardman, Willie Mays, Jesse Owens, Gene Washington, Cecil Williams
Graham as Bill Graham Presents booked the 1982 US Festival, funded by Steve Wozniak as Unuson. In the mid-1980s, in conjunction with the city of Mountain View, California, and Apple Inc. cofounder Steve Wozniak, he masterminded the creation of the Shoreline Amphitheatre, which became the premier venue for outdoor concerts in Silicon Valley, complementing his booking of the East Bay Concord Pavilion. Throughout his career, Graham promoted benefit concerts. He went on to set the standard for well-produced large-scale rock concerts, such as the U.S. portion of Live Aid at JFK Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 13, 1985, as well as the 1986 A Conspiracy of Hope and 1988 Human Rights Now! tours for Amnesty International.
Graham's later near monopoly business practices went as far as contracts with the University of California Regents to control on-campus entertainment venues, thus preventing ASUC (Associated Students of the University of California) and other student organizations from promoting their own rock concerts in the 1980s. In the 1980s, he teamed up with BASS Tickets which tended to drive small ticket-distribution companies out of business in the Bay Area, creating a de facto monopoly. After the smaller operations failed, the remaining one, Ticketmaster (formerly BASS), raised prices to unprecedented levels. Its only opposition came from a few bands, notably Pearl Jam, which protested that the company's high ticketing fees were unfair to music fans. Such practices were targeted by the California Senate in S.B. 815.
Graham was recognized as an expert promoter who genuinely cared about both the artists and the attendees at his concerts. He was the first to ensure that medical personnel were on site for large shows and he was both a contributor and supporter of the St. Mark's Free Clinic in New York and the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic, He often used these clinics as medical support at events. He enjoyed putting together groups onstage from different ethnic backgrounds, many of whom were ignored by other promoters. He had an eye for pleasing his audience, while making an effort to educate them in styles of music they would otherwise not have been exposed to. Graham was credited with assisting the early careers of artists like Santana and Eddie Money.
Graham was instrumental in commissioning and marketing psychedelic concert posters by designers such as Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelley, Wes Wilson, Victor Moscoso, and Rick Griffin. Bill Sagan (Former CEO of EBP) of Minnetonka, Minnesota bought the Bill Graham Presents archives and has organized hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of merchandise and video/audio recordings of concerts collected by Graham. Sagan is now selling some of the collection at Wolfgang's Vault, a reference to Graham's childhood nickname.
He was married to and divorced from Bonnie MacLean, in the 1960s and they had one child, David. Graham was also survived by another son, Alex, a stepson, Thomas Sult, and three sisters, Rita Rosen, Esther Chichinsky and Sonia Svobl.
Graham's status as a Holocaust survivor came into play in the mid-1980s, during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. When Graham learned that Reagan intended to lay a wreath at Bitburg World War II cemetery where SS soldiers were also buried, he organized protests against the act. During the same month that Reagan visited the cemetery, Graham's office was firebombed by Neo-Nazis. Graham was in France at the time, meeting with Bob Geldof to organize the first Live Aid concert. When he was informed of the fire via telephone he responded by asking immediately, "Was anybody hurt?" It was only after he was told that everyone was okay that he asked, "Is anything left?" Graham eventually led an effort to build a large Menorah which is lit during every Hanukkah in downtown San Francisco as part of the holiday celebrations of a diverse city.
Graham had a lifelong dream to be a character actor. He appeared in Apocalypse Now in a small role as a promoter. In 1990, he was cast as Charles "Lucky" Luciano in the film Bugsy. During one scene, he is shown in a Latin dance number, a style of dancing Graham had embraced as a teenager in New York. He also appears as a promoter in the 1991 Oliver Stone film, The Doors, which he also co-produced. He had a small part in Gardens of Stone as Don Brubaker, a hippie anti-war protester.
Graham was killed in a helicopter crash west of Vallejo, California on October 25, 1991, while returning home from a Huey Lewis and the News concert at the Concord Pavilion. Graham had attended the event to discuss promoting a benefit concert for the victims of the 1991 Oakland hills firestorm. Once he had obtained a commitment from Huey Lewis to perform, he returned to his helicopter. Flying in severe weather, with rain and gusty winds, the aircraft flew off course and too low over the tidal marshland north of San Pablo Bay. The Bell Jet Ranger flew directly into a 223-foot (68-meter) high-voltage tower near where Highway 37, which runs between Vallejo, California and Marin County, California, crosses Sonoma Creek. The helicopter burst into flames on impact, killing Graham, pilot and advance man Steve "Killer" Kahn, and Graham's girlfriend, Melissa Gold, ex-wife of author Herbert Gold. The charred remains of the helicopter hung in the tower for more than a day.
Following his death, his company, Bill Graham Presents (BGP), was taken over by a group of employees. Graham's sons remained a core part of the new management team. The new owners sold the company to SFX Promotions, which in turn sold the company to Clear Channel Entertainment. The BGP staff did not embrace the Clear Channel name, and several members of the Graham staff eventually left the company. Former BGP President/CEO Gregg Perloff and former Senior Vice President Sherry Wasserman left and started their own company, Another Planet Entertainment. Eventually Clear Channel separated itself from concert promotion and formed Live Nation, which is managed by many former Clear Channel executives.
In tribute, the San Francisco Civic Auditorium was renamed the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. On November 3, 1991, a free concert called "Laughter, Love and Music" was held at Golden Gate Park to honor Graham, Gold and Kahn. An estimated 300,000 people attended to view many of the entertainment acts Graham had supported including Santana, the Grateful Dead, John Fogerty, Robin Williams, Journey (reunited), and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (reunited). The video for "I'll Get By" from Eddie Money's album Right Here was dedicated to Graham. Graham's images and poster artwork still adorn the office walls at Live Nation's new San Francisco office. With the band Hardline, Neal Schon of Journey composed a piece entitled "31–91" in 1992 in Graham's honor.
Bill Graham was inducted into the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" in 1992 in the "Non-Performer" category. Graham was inducted into the Rock Radio Hall of Fame in the "Without Whom" category in 2014.
The American 20th century went to high school at DeWitt Clinton High in the Bronx. Multicultural before there was a name for it – at least a polite one – Clinton nurtured such figures as Bill Graham, James Baldwin, George Cukor, Neil Simon and Abraham Lincoln Polonsky.
In an exuberant civic celebration that served as a salve for the disaster-wreaked Bay Area, about 300,000 rock music fans flooded Golden Gate Park on Sunday for a free concert dedicated to the late impresario and local icon, Bill Graham. Many of the bands that Graham helped catapult from the city's psychedelic music scene to international stardom volunteered to play at the celebration, which invoked a 1960s ethos that in San Francisco has never entirely disappeared. The Grateful Dead, Santana, Joan Baez and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Jackson Browne and John Fogerty all turned out for "Laughter, Love and Music," a tribute to the brass-tacks rock promoter with a social conscience who died at age 60 in a helicopter crash 10 days ago.
Darryl S. Inaba, PharmD., was born June 16, 1946 in Denver, Colorado. He is an associate professor of Pharmacology at the UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco, California and the Director of Clinical and Behavioral Health Services at ARC (Addiction Recovery Center) in Medford, Oregon. He is also special consultant and instructor for the University of Utah School of Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependencies, as well as the Director of Education and Research at CNS Productions. Dr. Inaba is also on the editorial board of the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, which has been published since 1967.David E. Smith
David E. Smith (born 1939) is an American medical doctor from the United States specializing in addiction medicine, the psycho-pharmacology of drugs, new research strategies in the management of drug abuse problems, and proper prescribing practices for physicians. He is the Founder of the Haight Ashbury Free Clinics of San Francisco, a Fellow and Past President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, Past President of the California Society of Addiction Medicine, Past Medical Director for the California State Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, Past Medical Director for the California Collaborative Center for Substance Abuse Policy Research, and former adviser to the Betty Ford Center.
Current appointments include: Medical Director for North Bay Recovery Center, a men's dual diagnosis addiction treatment center in northern California. Chair of Addiction Medicine at Muir Wood Adolescent and Family Services in northern, CA and Medical Director for Center Point drug rehabilitation centers. Smith is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Smith is the Founder and Publisher of the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.List of deaths in rock and roll (1990s)
The following is a list of notable performers of rock and roll music or rock music, and others directly associated with the music as producers, songwriters or in other closely related roles, who have died in the 1990s. The list gives their date, cause and location of death, and their age.
Rock music developed from the rock and roll music that emerged during the 1950s, and includes a diverse range of subgenres. The terms "rock and roll" and "rock" each have a variety of definitions, some narrow and some wider. In determining criteria for inclusion, this list uses as its basis reliable sources listing "rock deaths" or "deaths in rock and roll", as well as such sources as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.List of people from Marin County, California
This is a list of people from Marin County, California, people born in, raised in, or strongly associated with the county.
Josh Akognon, basketball player
Juan Alderete de la Peña, Grammy-winning bassist
Isabel Allende, writer
Sam Andrew, musician
Dave Archer (painter), artist
Eve Arden (Eunice Quedens), Tamalpais High School, Class of 1926, actress (Our Miss Brooks, Grease)
Fairuza Balk, actress, born in Point Reyes Station
Tom Barbash, author
Arj Barker, comedian
John Battelle, CEO of Federated Media, founder of Wired magazine, and author of The Search
Melba Beals, civil rights activist
Michael Bloomfield, blues guitarist
Barbara Boxer, former United States Senator
Terry Bozzio, musician
Richard Brautigan, author
Joe Breeze, Tamalpais High School, Class of 1972, mountain bike pioneer and industry leader
Laurel Burch, artist
Merritt Butrick, Tamalpais High School, Class of 1977, actor (Square Pegs; James T. Kirk's son, David Marcus, in Star Trek)
Yvonne Cagle, Novato High School, Class of 1977, M.D., NASA Astronaut
Gunnar Carlsson, Redwood High School, Class of 1969, Swindells Professor of Mathematics Stanford University
Pete Carroll, Redwood High School, Class of 1969, head football coach of the Seahawks
Edwin Catmull, President of the Disney–Pixar Studios
Bill Champlin, Tamalpais High School, Class of 1965, musician, Sons of Champlin, Chicago
Chris Chaney, Tamalpais High School, Class of 1988, musician, Jane's Addiction, The Panic Channel
Brenda Chapman, animation director
Sam Chapman, Tamalpais High School, Class of 1934, athlete (high school and college all star, California Golden Bears; MLB)
Craig Chaquico, guitarist from Jefferson Starship
Maxine Chernoff, author
Julia Child, Katherine Branson School, Class of 1930; host of The French Chef
John Cipollina, Tamalpais High School, Class of 1964, lead guitarist for Quicksilver Messenger Service
Signy Coleman, Tamalpais High School, Class of 1978, model, actress
Elmer Collett, Tamalpais High School, Class of 1962, lineman, NFL
Jack Conte, musician, Pomplamoose
Peter Coyote, actor
David Crosby, musician
Martin Cruz Smith, author
Charlie Cunningham, Tamalpais High School, Class of 1967, mountain bike pioneer (Mountain Bike Hall of Fame)
Ram Dass, author of Be Here Now
Nataly Dawn, singer, Pomplamoose
Joe DeMaestri, Tamalpais High School, Class of 1946, MLB shortstop
Philip K. Dick, science fiction author, lived in Point Reyes Station 1958–1963 and in San Rafael and Santa Venetia through 1972
Mike Dirnt, bass player, Green Day
Allen Drury, novelist, 1960 Pulitzer Prize winner, author of Advise and Consent
George Duke, Tamalpais High School, Class of 1963, jazz pianist
David Dukes, actor, Redwood High School
Louis Durra, jazz pianist
Dave Eggers, author
Daniel Ellsberg, whistle blower, writer and anti-war activist
Mike "SuperJew" Epstein, Major League Baseball player
Joe Eszterhas, screenwriter
Cerridwen Fallingstar, historical novelist and Wiccan priestess
Mimi Farina, musician, singer, non-profit director and sister of Joan Baez and widow of Richard Farina
David Fincher, film director
Jack Finney, author, The Body Snatchers, Time and Again
Gary Fisher, mountain biking pioneer
Jon Fisher, entrepreneur
Ken Flax, Olympic athlete, hammer throw
Tyler Florence, celebrity chef
Phil Frank, cartoonist
David Freiberg, musician
Jerry Garcia, musician, of The Grateful Dead
Leonard Gardner, novelist, author of Fat City
Jared Goff, Marin Catholic High School, Class of 2013, quarterback, NFL
Bill Graham, promoter and founder of the Fillmore West in San Francisco
David Grisman, mandolinist and composer
Pete Gross, broadcaster for Seattle Seahawks
Gary Gruber, physicist, educator, and author, Gruber's Complete Guide series for standardized test preparation
Sammy Hagar, singer
Anna Halprin, choreographer
Oren Harari, business professor at University of San Francisco, author, speaker
David Haskell, Terra Linda High School, Class of 1966, actor
Annette Haven, ex-porn star
S. I. Hayakawa, semanticist, president of San Francisco State University, US Senator (1977–1983)
Sterling Hayden, actor
Matt Hazeltine, Tamalpais High School, Class of 1951, linebacker, NFL
Mariel Hemingway, actress, born in Mill Valley
Jon Hendricks, jazz lyricist, singer
George Herms, Beat Artist, museum director
James Hetfield, Metallica lead singer, rhythm guitar
J. R. Hildebrand, auto racing driver
George Hill, four-time national pairs figure skating champion
Lester Holt, NBC News anchor
Tess Uriza Holthe, author
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com
Zakir Hussain, musician, San Anselmo
Sam Vogel Jauz, American DJ/Music Producer
Maz Jobrani, comedian and actor
Booker T. Jones, musician
Janis Joplin, singer; her last known residence was in Larkspur, California
Charlie Kelly, Tamalpais High School, Class of 1963, roadie (Sons of Champlin); Mountain Bike Hall of Fame
Elmo Kennedy O'Connor, a.k.a "Bones", rapper
Ali Akbar Khan, musician, Ali Akbar Khan College of Music
Lisa Kindred, blues and folk singer and guitarist
Klaus Kinski, actor (died in the Marin County town of Lagunitas)
Walter Egel Kuhlman, abstract expressionist artist
Jef Labes, keyboardist
Travis LaBoy, Marin Catholic High School, Class of 1999, linebacker, NFL
Anne Lamott, writer
Jim Lange, TV game show host (The Dating Game)
John Lasseter, film director and Disney executive
Anton Szandor LaVey (Howard Stanton Levey), Tamalpais High School, Class of ~1947, founder of Church of Satan
Ralph Lazar, artist
Bill Lee, Terra Linda High School, Class of 1964, MLB pitcher
John Leslie Nuzzo, pornographic actor and director
Barry Levinson, film director
Jane Levy, actress (Suburgatory)
Huey Lewis, singer
Kevin Lima, film director
Tim Lincecum, baseball player
John Walker Lindh, American who fought for the Taliban
Mary Tuthill Lindheim, sculptor, studio potter, and a planner of the Sausalito Art Fair
Ki Longfellow (born Pamela Longfellow), Redwood High School in Larkspur, CA; author of The Secret Magdalene, Flow Down Like Silver, Hypatia of Alexandria
George Lucas, film director, founder of Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic. Creator of Star Wars and "Indiana Jones" franchises. Owner of "Skywalker Ranch"
Andy Luckey, Redwood High School, Class of 1983, television producer, author, illustrator
Ray Lynch, composer and mathematician
Seán Mac Falls, poet
Peter Magadini, drummer, composer
Duster Mails, MLB pitcher; appeared in 1920 World Series
Zekial Marko, pulp fiction writer, film & television series writer
Brian Maxwell, marathon runner and, with his wife to be, Jennifer Biddulph, developer and founder of Powerbar
Joyce Maynard, author
Montgomery McFate, anthropologist, chief social scientist for Human Terrain System
Terry McGovern, actor, voice, radio, Director of Marin Actors' Workshop
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, musician, of The Grateful Dead
Bridgit Mendler, actress
Tom Merritt, technology journalist and broadcaster
Artie Mitchell, pornographic film producer
Van Morrison, singer and songwriter
Jonny Moseley, gold medal-winning Olympic skier
Maria Muldaur, singer-songwriter, "Midnight at the Oasis"
Walter Murch, film editor
Gavin Newsom, former mayor of San Francisco, current Lieutenant Governor of California
Connie Nielsen, actress
Eric Norstad, ceramicist and architect
Don Novello, actor and writer
Phil Ochs, singer, songwriter
Arthur Okamura, screen print artist illustrator
Karl Olson, Tamalpais High School, MLB outfielder
George Demont Otis, artist
William L. Patterson, Tamalpais High School, Class of 1911, attorney; civil rights pioneer
Pat Paulsen, Tamalpais High School, Class of 1945, statesman; comic, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Robin Wright Penn, actress
Sean Penn, actor, activist
Jacquie Phelan, mountain biking pioneer and racing champion; now freelance cycle skills trainer and writer
Kathleen Quinlan, Tamalpais High School, Class of 1972, actress (American Graffiti, Apollo 13, Oliver Stone's The Doors)
Bill Rafferty, former game show host, comedian
Bonnie Raitt, singer
Reminisce, street artist, sculptor
Marc Reisner, environmentalist, author
Howard Rheingold, author
Meghan Rienks, actress
Hal Riney, advertising executive
Jason Roberts, author
Pernell Roberts, actor, civil rights activist
Brande Roderick, model and actress
Prince Andrew Romanov, Russian royal and artist
Dennis B. Ross, U.S. diplomat and author
George H. Ruge, San Francisco radio pioneer
Kay Ryan, United States Poet Laureate
Dana Sabraw, U.S. District Judge
Carlos Santana, musician
Aram Saroyan, poet
Strawberry Saroyan, novelist
Michael Savage, conservative radio host
Eric P. Schmitt, journalist, Pulitzer Prize winner
Charles R. Schwab, investor
Vic Seixas (born 1923), Hall of Fame top-10 tennis player
Tupac Shakur, Tamalpais High School, rapper, poet, and actor
Peter Shor, Tamalpais High School, mathematician, MIT; MacArthur Fellow
Grace Slick, musician, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship
Gary Snyder, poet
Tom Snyder, television talk host
Myron Spaulding, boat designer and builder, sailboat racer and concert violinist
John Stewart, musician, songwriter, Kingston Trio
David Strathairn, Redwood High School, actor
Nicholas Suntzeff, Redwood High School, cosmologist, Texas A&M, Gruber Prize in Cosmology
Lisa Swerling, artist
Amy Tan, author
Gage Taylor, visionary artist
Dina Temple-Raston, journalist for National Public Radio, author
Twinka Thiebaud, writer and model
Bill Thompson, Manager of Jefferson Airplane
Courtney Thorne-Smith, Tamalpais High School, Class of 1985, actress (Melrose Place, Ally McBeal, According to Jim)
Scott Thunes, musician
Peter Tork, musician, member of The Monkees
Lars Ulrich, Metallica drummer
Lee Unkrich, employee at Pixar and director of Toy Story 3
Jean Varda, artist
Max Venable, baseball player for the San Francisco Giants
Will Venable, baseball player for the San Diego Padres
Winston Venable, football player for the Chicago Bears
Vendela Vida, author
John L. Wasserman, San Francisco Chronicle entertainment critic
Alan Watts, writer
Cassandra Webb (Cassandra Politzer), Tamalpais High School, Class of 1976, actress (Starship, Sons and Daughters)
Lou Welch, poet
Brett Wickens, designer
Archie Williams, 1936 Summer Olympics 400m winner
Robin Williams, actor, Flubber, Mrs. Doubtfire, Larkspur High School graduate
Tony Williams, drummer
Cintra Wilson, Tamalpais High School, writer
Jesse Colin Young, singer-songwriter of 1970s and 80s, "Song for Julia"
Saul Zaentz, film producer
Barry Zito, baseball playerOne Thousand Children
The One Thousand Children (OTC) is a designation, created in 2000, which is used to refer to the approximately 1,400 Jewish children who were rescued from Nazi Germany and other Nazi-occupied or threatened European countries, and who were taken directly to the United States during the period 1934–1945. The phrase "One Thousand Children" only refers to those children who came unaccompanied and left their parents behind back in Europe. In nearly all cases, their parents were not able to escape with their children, because they could not get the necessary visas among other reasons. Later, nearly all these parents were murdered by the Nazis.
The OTC children were rescued by both American and European organizations, as well as by individuals.
Originally only about one thousand such children had been identified as OTC children — hence the name "The One Thousand Children". By 2017 about 1,400 have been identified.
The One Thousand Children, Inc. (OTC, Inc.) was an organization created for further welfare of the OTC children.Robert K. Futterman
Robert K. Futterman (born 1958 in Long Island, New York) is the founder, chairman & chief executive officer of Robert K. Futterman & Associates (RKF), a retail leasing, investment sales and consulting services real estate firm. Futterman has been noted as one of the most prominent and powerful names in Manhattan retail and has personally completed real estate transactions in excess of $10 billion. He has helped revitalize Manhattan neighborhoods including Union Square, the Meatpacking District, Times Square, 34th Street, Fifth Avenue, the Plaza District, and Soho.Ronnie Montrose
Ronald Douglas Montrose (November 29, 1947 – March 3, 2012) was an American rock guitarist, who led the bands Montrose (1973-77 & 1987) and Gamma (1979-83 & 2000) and also performed and did session work with a variety of musicians, including Van Morrison (1971–72), Herbie Hancock (1971), Beaver & Krause (1971), Boz Scaggs (1971), Edgar Winter (1972 & 1996), Gary Wright (1975), The Beau Brummels (1975), Dan Hartman (1976), Tony Williams (1978), The Neville Brothers (1987), Marc Bonilla (1991 & 1993), Sammy Hagar (1997), and Johnny Winter. The first Montrose album was often cited as "America's answer to Led Zeppelin" and Ronnie Montrose was often referred to as one of the most influential guitarists in American hard rock.The Nuclear Beauty Parlor
The Nuclear Beauty Parlor was a group of women artists active in protest and performance art of the nuclear freeze movement from 1983-1986 in San Francisco, California. Their name is synonymous with a music project they originated, the 45-RPM 7" single, The Nuclear Beauty Parlor. Two members of the Nuclear Beauty Parlor wrote the lyrics to the song which debuted in the women’s jail following the 1983 blockade of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, one of the largest anti-nuclear protests in the United States. The group staged numerous performances to attract media attention for the cause of nuclear disarmament. The record, conceived as an art prank, is archived in the Peace Library at Swarthmore College. The group is noted for adding humor and post-punk style to a dedicated protest movement.
(Ahmet Ertegun Award)
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