Pete Seeger, the iconic folk singer and activist, died Sunday in New York City. He was 94.
Seeger inspired generations with his music and message, including fellow travelers like Dylan, Baez and Springsteen along the way. The poet Carl Sandburg called him “America’s tuning fork,” while the musicologist Alan Lomax declared that folk music was born the day Pete Seeger met Woody Guthrie (March 3, 1940, if you’re curious). Songs written or popularized by Seeger over the years include titles like “If I Had a Hammer,” “Pay Me My Money Down,” and “We Shall Overcome,” and have become synonymous not only with American folk music, but political activism.
Pete Seeger is survived by three children and six grandchildren, and was preceded in death by his wife Toshi last summer. He was to have received the inaugural Woody Guthrie Award next month.