How Did Linda McCartney Die? Her Fierce Battle with Cancer 

linda mccartney playing the piano on stage how did linda mccartney die
Image from Shutterstock.

Last updated on September 7th, 2023 at 01:46 am

Linda McCartney may have been best known as being the wife of The Beatles legend Paul McCartney. Still, she had a life that earned her her own loyal fanbase thanks to her photos, music, yummy vegetarian easy-to-cook meals, activism for animal rights, and more. 

One can only imagine what else she would have accomplished had she been able to keep on going. 

How did Linda McCartney die? Find out that and more about her life and career below. 

How Did Linda McCartney Die? 

Linda McCartney died after fighting breast cancer. She was diagnosed with an advanced form of the disease in 1995, with doctors noting that the cancer had metastasized to her liver. 

What stage cancer did Linda McCartney have? By the end, with it spreading to other organs, McCartney was likely fighting Stage IV cancer. 

How Long Did Linda McCartney Have Cancer? 

Linda McCartney spent the good part of three years fighting her battle, with her husband, Paul McCartney, later stated: “The doctors had told me privately that we’d caught it too late, that she’ll have about 18 months. And that was what she had.” 

When Did Linda McCartney Die? 

Linda McCartney lost her battle with breast cancer on Apr. 17, 1998. She passed away at the McCartney’s family ranch in Tucson, Arizona, with her husband and four children surrounding her in love. 

linda mccartney with her husband paul mccartney in 2976
Photo of Paul and Linda McCartney with Bhaskar Menon, president of Capitol Records. The photo was taken at the Los Angeles Forum Club during the 1976 Wings Over America tour. Image is in the public domain.

How Old Was Linda McCartney When She Died? 

Linda McCartney was only 56 years old when she died of breast cancer. 

Linda McCartney’s Funeral

Following her death, a private memorial service was held in London at the St. Martin-in-the-Fields. 

Did George Harrison go to Linda McCartney’s funeral? 

Yes. George Harrison was just one of the many famous faces to come and pay their respects, along with Ringo Starr, Billy Joel, Peter Gabriel, and Elton John. They joined the nearly 700-person congregation. 

Several famous Beatles songs were played during the ceremony to commemorate her. The most notable tribute performance was Paul McCartney’s “Let It Be” at the end of the service. 

Written originally after seeing his mother in a dream, Paul McCartney later compared the two situations. “Both my mum and Linda died of breast cancer. We had no idea what my mum had died of because no one talked about it. She just died.”  

Two months later, another service was held at the Riverside Church in Manhattan, during which Paul McCartney stated, “She was my girlfriend. I lost my girlfriend.” 

Related: How Did John Lennon Die?

Where is Linda McCartney Buried? 

After her death, Linda McCartney was cremated with her ashes scattered in Sussex, England, across the McCartney family’s English farm. 

What were Linda McCartney’s Last Words? 

The last known thing that Linda McCartney ever said was, “I love you, Carla,” during a phone call to a friend before her death. 

It was the final words of her husband before her death that are more famous. 

What Were Paul McCartney’s Last Words to Linda? 

Before Linda McCartney passed away, her husband, Paul McCartney, graced her with the most beautiful parting words, as he seemed to be painting a picture of her perfect day. 

“You’re up on your beautiful Appaloosa stallion. It’s a fine spring day. We’re riding through the woods. The bluebells are all out, and the sky is a clear blue,” he said. 

After revealing this sentiment, Paul McCartney admitted, “I had barely got to the end of the sentence when she closed her eyes and gently slipped away. Our family is so close that her passing has left a huge hole in our lives. We will never get over it, but I think we will come to accept it, total heartbreak.” 

linda mccartney on stage playing piano with her hand up during one of her final performances
Image from Shutterstock.

What Did Paul McCartney Do When Linda Died? 

Like all who grieve at the passing of a loved one, the first year was the toughest. Paul McCartney has admitted that he “cried for about a year, on and off. You expect to see them walk in, this person you love because you are so used to them.” 

Linda McCartney’s Net Worth

At the time of her death, Linda McCartney was worth approximately $10 million. 

How Did Linda McCartney Get Rich? 

Linda McCartney’s personal net worth was thanks to her music and photography. Her best-selling cookbooks and frozen vegetarian entrée line also contributed to her significant wealth, with the latter earning more than $56 million in sales in England in 1997. 

Related: 15 Interesting Facts About the Beatles Members

What Did Paul McCartney Inherit from Linda McCartney? 

Paul McCartney inherited all the property owned by Linda following her death. That included the royalties of her books, records, and the rights to her photos. 

He also took control of her vegetarian food line, promising to keep it free from GMOs, as she always advocated for. He did until 1999, when H.J. Heinz Company acquired the rights to the company. They held control for eight years until Hain Celestial Group bought it in 2007. 

linda mccartneys line of vegetarian food
Image from Shutterstock

How Did Linda McCartney Become Famous?

While Linda McCartney made her mark as keyboardist for the Wings, her real claim to fame was her photography.

Throughout the 60s, she photographed many stars (including her husband) and has claimed the title of the first female photographer to have one of her photos featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. 

In 1967, she even earned the title of U.S. female photographer of the year. 

Linda McCartney’s Career

Linda McCartney dabbled in many avenues throughout her short but well-lived life. 

Linda McCartney, Photographer

Her photography career began with for Town & Country magazine.

During that time, she studied how photo shoots worked, including a shot’s setup, composition and lighting. Soon, she began leading her own photo shoots. 

Her big break came when Town & Country was invited to the Rolling Stones’ promotional yacht party, which she volunteered to take on. 

“I was the only photographer they allowed on the yacht. I just kept clicking away with the camera, and they enjoyed it, and I enjoyed it, and suddenly I found that taking pictures was a great way to live and a great way to work.” 

Along with her cover of Rolling Stone magazine, her other notable shots include the cover of the single “The Girl is Mine,” a duet recorded by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson, and her 1967 photo of Neil Young used for Sugar Mountain – Live at Canterbury House 1968, cover shot, which was released in 2008. 

Related: Michael Jackson’s Net Worth: A Look Inside the King of Pop’s Impressive Wealth

Linda McCartney, Musician

Linda McCartney started to delve into music after her husband taught her to play the keyboards.

Together, they recorded the album, Ram, and eventually formed the British-American rock band Wings. The group won several Grammys throughout the 1970s, as they were known as one of the decade’s most successful bands. 

Linda McCartney also showed off her songwriting chops during this time, penning such songs as “Seaside Woman,” recorded by Wings, but released under the pen name Suzy and the Red Stripes after a comment that her previous credits as a co-writer alongside Paul McCartney were not real. 

She and Paul McCartney also became Oscar-nominated songwriters for, “Live and Let Die,” the theme song for the 1973 James Bond film of the same name. 

Linda McCartney, Cookbook Connoisseur

After Paul and Linda McCartney became vegetarians in 1975, the latter was inspired. By 1989, she published her first cookbook, Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, complete with only vegetarian recipes. She followed it up two years later with her company Linda McCartney Foods, a line of frozen meals for vegetarians, in 1991. 

Far Out Magazine said the line of meals “helped make it easier and more accessible for people to choose not to eat meat. At the time, options were extremely limited, and Linda essentially made vegetarianism possible on a much larger scale. The brand is one of Britain’s most established meat-free food products.”  

McCartney released her second cookbook, Linda’s Kitchen: Simple and Inspiring Recipes for Meatless Meals, in 1995, for which she earned herself a James Beard Foundation Award nomination in 1996. 

Twenty-three years after her death, Paul McCartney and their daughters, Mary and Stella put together an updated version of many of Linda’s vegetarian recipes to make them vegan, and, with it, released,  Linda McCartney’s Family Kitchen in 2021. 

We think Linda was smiling down from heaven with that one. 

Related: How Did Taylor Hawkins Die?

When Was Linda McCartney Born? 

Linda McCartney’s birthdate is Sept. 24, 1941. 

How Tall Was Linda McCartney?

Linda McCartney’s height was 5 feet, 9 inches tall, just half an inch shorter than her famous husband. 

Where was Linda McCartney From? 

Linda Louise Eastman was born and raised in Scarsdale, New York. 

Linda McCartney’s Parents

Linda McCartney was the second of four children born to Linda Louise Eastman and Lee Eastman. 

Linda McCartney’s Ethnicity

Linda McCartney may have been born in America, but she has many other backgrounds in her heritage, including Russian on her father’s side, as he was the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, and German on her mother’s side, as a German-Jewish family.

Linda McCartney’s Early Life

Linda McCartney graduated from Scarsdale High School in 1959 and later received her Associate of Arts degree from Vermont College in Montpelier, Vermont, in 1961. 

Although she continued her education, studying fine arts at the University of Arizona, she eventually dropped out. It was during this time, however, that her interest in photography began as she took up nature photography as a hobby. 

Where Did Linda McCartney Live? 

Towards the end of her life, Linda McCartney mainly lived in Tuscon, Arizona, with her family.

Linda McCartney’s Children

Linda McCartney was the mother of four children. 

The oldest of Linda McCartney’s daughters, Heather (1962), was born from her first marriage, although Paul McCartney would later formally adopt her. 

Linda McCartney’s children with Paul McCartney include Mary (1969), Stella (1971), and the only of Linda McCartney’s sons, James (1977). 

Related: How Did Janis Joplin Die?

paul mccartney on stage playing guitar
Washington DC. USA, 4th July, 1990 Paul McCartney performs at the Fourth of July concert in the Robert F. Kennedy football stadium. Image from Shutterstock.

Who was Linda McCartney Married To? 

She’s so famous for being the wife of Beatles legend Paul McCartney, it may shock fans to learn that before she was Linda McCartney, she was Linda See.

She met Melville See Jr. while in college, and they eventually married on Jun. 18, 1962. Because of their vastly different lifestyles, the marriage ended just three years later, on Dec. 31, 1965. 

Back to her maiden name, Linda Eastman, she met Paul McCartney while on a photo assignment in London on May 15, 1967. They were married on Mar. 12, 1969, and remained married until her death. 

Did the Beatles Like Linda McCartney? 

After Linda and Paul McCartney were married, it didn’t take long for speculation to arise as to whether she and Yoko Ono, the wife of John Lennon, were the reason for the Beatles’ eventual split. To those repeated criticisms by the press about Linda, Lennon responded, “She got the same kind of insults, hatred, absolute garbage thrown at her for no reason whatsoever other than she fell in love with Paul McCartney.” 

Tributes to Linda McCartney

Since her death, fans everywhere have continued to show their love for the talented beauty with artwork, statues, and tribute concerts held in her honor over the years.

Perhaps the biggest tribute, however, came from her husband, Paul McCartney. In honor of his wife’s brave battle with breast cancer, he urged fans to donate to breast cancer research charities in remembrance of her, but there was a stipulation that proved even more faithful to his wife’s character.

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Written by Katie Peterson

Katie Peterson received her bachelor's degree in English from the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth in 2015. She has worked in journalism since 2015, beginning as production assistant and eventual head staff writer of the Fort Leavenworth Lamp newspaper in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Currently, she is a multimedia journalist with the Diocese of Nashville's Office of Media and Evangelization where she writes, does photography, and edits for several types of content, including the Tennessee Register, Catholic Awakenings, and She has also worked as a freelance journalist with the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas's newspaper, The Leaven, since 2016.
In her spare time, Peterson enjoys reading, spending time with her pup, Sadie Lynn, singing and songwriting.


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