Warren Hellman, musician and founder of the popular Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival died Sun., Dec. 18 in San Francisco. He was 77 and had been battling leukemia.
Hellman built a very successful career in finance during his time with Lehman Brothers in New York, and eventually continued his career in his hometown San Francisco. The billionaire’s community endeavors included starting the city’s free bluegrass festival. Last year it attracted more than 750,000 people over three days, and showcased such a diverse lineup as Steve Earle, Elvis Costello, John Mellencamp, Robert Plant and Emmylou Harris.
Hellman also enjoyed performing with his band The Wronglers. The San Francisco Chronicle expects thousands of mourners to turn out for today’s (12/21) memorial service. In lieu of flowers, the Hellman family requests that donations be made to the San Francisco Free Clinic, The Bay Citizen or the San Francisco School Alliance.