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Toshi Seeger, Wife of Folk Musician Pete Seeger, Dies at 91

July 12, 2013, 8:55 am GMT

Toshi, whom Pete called his most cherished and valuable muse, passes away at their home in Beacon, New York, at the age of 91.



Toshi-Aline Ohta Seeger, the wife of legendary folk musician Pete Seeger, passed away on Tuesday, July 9, at their long-time home in Beacon, New York. She was 91. Besides her husband, she is survived by her three children, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Sing Out, a magazine which she founded with Pete in 1951, noted that Toshi played an integral part in Pete's musical career. Calling the couple's relationship "true partnership," the magazine said in a statement, "Without Toshi's counsel and support, and always outspoken and direct opinions, it's clear to anyone who ever met these two remarkable people that, without Toshi, Pete would never have had the foundation and freedom to do the work that made him so legendary."

Toshi was born in Munich, Germany, to an American mother and Japanese father. Her parents brought her to the U.S. when she was only six months old. Young Toshi attended the High School of Music and Art. She later met Pete and got married to the musician in 1943, just before he shipped overseas.

Toshi was an activist, a filmmaker, as well as a music manager. New York Daily News noted that she produced Pete's concerts and even became an executive-producer for 2007's PBS Documentary "Pete Seeger: The Power of Song", which won an Emmy. Toshi also directed his 1955-1956 TV series "Rainbow Quest", which is regarded as precious archive of folk music.

Her 1966 movie, "Afro-American Work Songs in a Texas Prison" which features inmates who did labor work in Texas, can be found at the Library of Congress archives. Over the last decades, Toshi played a key role in a campaign which started the cleanup of Hudson River.

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