February 25, 1943 - November 29, 2001: Age 58
"Everything else can wait, but the search for God cannot wait; and love one another."
George Harrison joined The Beatles at a time when he wasn't actually of legal age to enter the clubs they played in (he was 15). He went on to become one of the most important and influential musicians of the 20th century: his most prominent contribution being the introduction of the sitar and Indian music into rock and roll. Click here to see and hear him taking a sitar lesson with Ravi Shankar.
His interest in Hindu philosophy and Eastern culture had a profound and lasting influence on millions of people in Europe and North America. The Beatles broke up in 1970 and Harrison continued to distinguish himself musically, socially, and spiritually for the rest of his life. He was the first rock star to organize a major charity concert (Concert for Bangladesh, 1971)
Harrison battled cancer throughout the late 1990s, beginning with his throat and then his lungs. In 1999 somebody broke into his home and attacked him with a knife, stabbing him multiple times, puncturing his lung. He and his wife managed to contain the attacker until police came (the man believed Harrison was possessing him and that he had a mission from God to kill him — he was acquitted on grounds of insanity). Harrison recovered from the attack, but in 2001 his cancer recurred and this time the diagnosis was terminal — it had metastasized to his brain. He died on November 29, 2001 at his home in Hollywood Hills.
From his family: "He left this world as he lived in it: conscious of God, fearless of death and at peace, surrounded by family and friends."
Click here for a nice little clip of George's ultimately positive view of the world.