Marjorie Guthrie

Marjorie Mazia Guthrie (October 6, 1917 – March 13, 1983) was a dancer of the Martha Graham Company, a dance teacher and for a time the wife of folk musician Woody Guthrie, and was the mother of folk musician Arlo Guthrie and Woody Guthrie archivist Nora Guthrie.

She was born Marjorie Greenblatt (Yiddish: חנה גרינבלאַט) in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA, to Aliza Waitzman and Izadore Greenblatt. She had 3 brothers- David, Herbert and Ben and a sister Gertrude. She became a dancer for Martha Graham in 1935, later she became a teacher for her and finally opened her own dance school in the late 40s.

She met Woody Guthrie, with whom she shared an interest in folk art and left wing politics, in January 1942 and married him in 1945. They had four children together, the oldest of whom, Cathy, died in a fire when she was just four years old. Following the death of her ex-husband from Huntington's Disease in 1967, she founded the Committee to Combat Huntington's Disease. This eventually became the Huntington's Disease Society of America. She met Guthrie in 1940 as a Martha Graham Dancer trained in Modern Dance, while she was adapting some of Guthrie's Dust Bowl Ballads to a routine. Though she was Guthrie's second wife (of three) they maintained a close relationship throughout his life and she provided constant care to Guthrie until his death. She also founded the Marjorie Mazia School of Dance on Sheepshead Bay Road in Brooklyn, New York, which trained young dancers in Modern Dance and Ballet in the 1950s, '60s and '70s. In 1950, Mazia also recorded, Dance Along on Folkways Records, a dance album for children. She is extensively cited in the book, Outwitting History by National Yiddish Book Center founder/director Aaron Lansky.

Famous quotes containing the word guthrie:

    This land is your land, this land is my land, From California to the New York Island. From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters This land was made for you and me.
    —Woody Guthrie (1912–1967)