Tenor Jerry Hadley Dies at Age 55

By Matthew Westphal
18 Jul 2007

Jerry Hadley
photo by Christian Steiner

Jerry Hadley, one of America’s and the world’s leading operatic tenors of the 1980s and ’90s, died this morning at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York of complications from a gunshot wound to the head. He had been in a coma ever since his suicide attempt last week; two days ago he was taken off life support following a review by the hospital’s medical ethics committee and the administration of last rites.

Family spokesperson Celia P. Novo said that Hadley passed away at 11:20 a.m. His breathing became labored yesterday afternoon and remained that way through last night, according to The Daily Freeman of Kingston, New York.

“He was never in any pain,” she told the paper. “He never regained consciousness, never responded to any stimulus.”

A product of the American heartland, Hadley was born in 1952 in the small Illinois town of Manlius, not far from Peoria; he received his bachelor’s degree from Bradley University in that city and a master’s in voice from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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