|Name:||Peter La Farge|
|Birth Day:||April 30, 1931|
|Death Date:||October 27, 1965|
As per our current Database, Peter La Farge died on October 27, 1965.
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Oliver Albee La Farge was born in 1931 to Oliver La Farge, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and anthropologist, and Wanden (Matthews) La Farge, a Rhode Island heiress. The family moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where his younger sister Povy was born in 1933, but his parents' marriage fell apart. They separated and divorced in 1937. His father married Consuelo Baca, with whom he had one child, Peter's half-brother John Pendaries La Farge, nicknamed "Pen" (b. 1952). Wanden took the children with her and bought a ranch in Fountain, Colorado in 1940, later marrying foreman Alexander F. "Andy" Kane.
La Farge joined the United States Navy in 1950 and served in the aircraft carrier USS Boxer throughout the Korean War. He also joined the Central Intelligence Division (CID) as an undercover agent involved in efforts to suppress narcotics smuggling. While in the Navy, he learned to box and took part in a couple dozen prize fights, in the course of which his nose was broken twice. While on the ship, it was hit by a plane that missed its landing, and he suffered burns in the ensuing fire. He was discharged in 1953 and awarded the China Service Medal and Ribbon, a U.N. Service Medal and Ribbon, and a Korean Service Medal and Ribbon (5 stars).
His performances in Greenwich Village gained him a recording contract with Moses Asch, founder of Folkways Records. La Farge's five Folkways albums (1962–1965) were dedicated to Native American themes, as well as blues, cowboy songs, and love songs. "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," his most famous song, is the story of a Pima Indian who became a hero as one of six United States Marines who raised the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima. He later suffered from prejudice and struggled with the return to civilian life, becoming an alcoholic. This song was covered by Johnny Cash on his 1964 album Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian, reaching Number 2 on the Billboard country music chart. Cash credited La Farge with inspiring the entire album, which included four other songs besides "The Ballad of Ira Hayes."
By 1965, La Farge was also becoming known as an artist and painter. He lived with the Danish singer Inger Nielsen, and the pair had a daughter, Karen. They did not marry in part because La Farge was still married to Suzanne, who was then in a mental institution in Michigan.
Johnny Cash's success increased demand for folksingers, and La Farge was signed to MGM Records, where he planned a new album. However, in October 1965, Peter La Farge was found dead in his New York City apartment by Inger Nielsen. He was said to have died from a stroke or (more probably) an overdose of Thorazine, an addictive sleep aid that Johnny Cash allegedly had introduced to him. He was buried in Fountain, Colorado, survived by his sister, half-brother, daughter, and granddaughter.
In 2010, a tribute album, Rare Breed, was recorded by musicians including John Densmore, Felipe Rose, Hank Williams III, Sarah Lee Guthrie, Johnny Irion, Keith Secola, John Trudell, and the band Blackfire.
Currently, Peter La Farge is 91 years, 11 months and 0 days old. Peter La Farge will celebrate 92nd birthday on a Sunday 30th of April 2023.
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