The Woody Guthrie Family

More About Woodrow Wilson Guthrie

Woody Guthrie was a very interesting and talented man.  I think he accomplished more in his 55 years on this earth than most people do in 80-90 years.

During his short, tumultuous life Guthrie was a writer, union activist, performer, social commentator, story teller, and composer of over 1000 songs.  He was also a poet, and author. When John and I visited the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa Oklahoma, we saw his work.  He was a brilliant man.

The timeline of Woody’s life, can be seen here:

I had the privilege to present a “book discussion” at the Woody Guthrie Center.  I had just published the nonfiction book, Watching Their Dance.

With that said, I’ll tell you about Woody’s private life.  Woody’s mother, Nora, had Huntington’s disease and was placed in Oklahoma Hospital for the Insane.

At age 19, Guthrie met and married his first wife, Mary Jennings, in Texas in 1931. They had three children together: Gwendolyn, Sue, and Bill.  Bill died at age 23 of an automobile accident. Each daughter died of Huntington’s disease at the age of 41, in the 1970s.  Guthrie and Mary divorced in 1940.

He married twice more, to Marjorie Greenblatt (1945–53), they had daughters Cathy and Nora; and sons Arlo and Joady.  Cathy died in a fire.

Woody married Anneke Van Kirkand (1953–56) and had a daughter; having a total of eight children.

Woody was hospitalized at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Morris County, New Jersey, from 1956 to 1961; at Brooklyn State Hospital (now Kingsboro Psychiatric Center) in East Flatbush until 1966; and finally at Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens Village, New York, until his death in 1967.


We Can Never Lose HOPE……

100% of the profits from Watching Their Dance is being donated to the nonprofit, Huntington’s Disease Society of America. You can purchase it on Amazon and many other book websites.  My author website is


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