- NAME: John Denver
- OCCUPATION: Environmental Activist, Songwriter, Guitarist, Singer
- BIRTH DATE: December 31, 1943
- DEATH DATE: October 12, 1997
- EDUCATION: Texas Technical University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Roswell, New Mexico
- PLACE OF DEATH: Pacific Grove, California
- Originally: Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr.
Best Known For
John Denver was one of the most successful singer-songwriters of the 1970s. His hits include "Take Me Home, Country Roads" and "Thank God I'm a Country Boy."
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In 1976, he cofounded the Windstar Foundation, a non-profit wildlife preservation agency. In addition to founding the World Hunger Project in 1977, he was personally appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the commission on World and Domestic Hunger. He became a chair member of the National UNICEF Day in 1984. In 1987,
President Ronald Reagan presented Denver with the Presidential World Without Hunger Award. That same year, he won an additional six awards for Rocky Mountain Reunion, his documentary about endangered species. In 1993, he won the Albert Schweitzer Music Award for humanitarian efforts.
Among numerous awards and recognition for his musical achievements, he received the Top Male Recording Artist Award from Record World magazine for 1974-75. Also in 1975, he was named the Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year.
In 1967, Denver married Anne Marie Martell, a psychotherapist. Together they had two children, Zachary and Anna Kate, before their divorce in 1983. Denver was married to Cassandra Delaney from 1988 to 1991. Together they had one child, Jesse Bell.
A longtime aviator, Denver died on October 12, 1997 when the plane that he was piloting went down over Monterey Bay, California, killing him instantly.
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When musicians land big fame, there typically comes a moment of reinvention in which the "rock star" identity is born. This new persona often requires a new name, a way to differentiate between the private and public versions of themselves. Musical monikers take different forms, from the simple, last-name changes aimed at boosting celebrity appeal—like Steven Tyler—to the glamorized version of a childhood nickname—like Jay-Z. Musicians' nicknames and aliases tend to take on an identity all their own over time, often becoming as full of personality as the artists they represent.
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