Published Sep 17, 2009Mary Travers, best known as the female component of '60 folk heroes Peter, Paul and Mary, has passed away due to complications from chemotherapy. She died Wednesday (September 16) at Connecticut's Danbury Hospital after fighting leukemia since being diagnosed in 2004. She was 72.
"I am deadened and heartsick beyond words to consider a life without Mary Travers and honoured beyond my wildest dreams to have shared her spirit and her career," stated colleague Noel "Paul" Stookey in an official statement.
Peter Yarrow added that Travers exuded bravery and generosity during her failing health, carrying herself "with great dignity and without restraint. It was, as Mary always was, honest and completely authentic. That's the way she sang, too - honestly and with complete authenticity."
Travers was born in Louisville, KY, yet her family relocated to New York's Greenwich Village in 1938. It was there that, after leaving school to pursue a singing career, she eventually met Stookey and Yarrow.
The trio quickly became icons of the '60s liberal movement, as well as established recording artists. Some of their most successful songs include "If I Had a Hammer," "Lemon Tree," "Leaving on a Jet Plane" and, of course, "Puff (The Magic Dragon)." Peter, Paul and Mary have issued over 30 albums since 1962.
Travers is survived by her fourth husband, Ethan Robbins, two daughters, Erika Marshall and Alicia Travers, half-brother John Travers, a sister and two grandchildren.
Travers performing her trio's trademark tune in healthier times: