Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., well-known as John Denver, was born in Roswell, New Mexico on December 31, 1943. Denver was first introduced to music when his grandmother gave him her old guitar. He took guitar lessons when he was 11 and also joined the school choir to improve his singing talents. His professional career began when he moved from Roswell to Los Angeles and he was chosen as the lead singer for The Mitchell Trio. Denver led an amazing life until his untimely death in 1997, and today, on his birthday, we look back at all that he accomplished.
Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., known by all as John Denver, was born on December 31, 1943, in Roswell, New Mexico to parents Henry Denver Deutschendorf Senior and Emma Louise Swope. His father was a U.S. Air Force officer at the Roswell air force base, and he grew up in the area. Denver always had a love for music and his first musical instrument was given to him at the young age of two years old by his grandmother. He had a love for music and singing, however, he attended Texas Tech University to study architecture. After starting this degree, he soon realized that it was not for him and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a musician. In 1963, his professional career began as he was chosen out of 250 hopefuls to become the lead singer for The Mitchell Trio — a 1960s vocal group.
While being part of The Mitchell Trio was great for his career, in 1969, Denver pursued a career as a solo artist. He released his first-ever solo album titled “Rhymes & Reasons.” After his first album, Denver was on a roll, and over the next two years, he continued to release albums one musical hit after another, which substantially grew his fan base. In 1977, he was a starring character in the film “Oh God,” this showed that he was capable of more than just producing music. While this film was not a big hit, it showed how diverse Denver was in the talents that he had.
As he became more and more popular, he noted he had a unique chance to speak out and become an activist for something that he felt very passionate about, which was peace. In 1977, he helped bring “The Hunger Project” to life and began his work as an activist for peace. Denver even ventured to the U.S.S.R. for concerts and discussions regarding the ending of the cold war. Denver was a great man, and even though he is not with us today, his music and all that he did for the world are carried through!
Denver beats 250 hopefuls to become the lead singer for The Mitchell Trio.
Denver strikes out on his own and begins his career as a solo artist.
Denver branches out in the entertainment industry and tries his hand at acting by starring in the movie “Oh God.”
To bring about discussions regarding peace, Denver and a few others start “The Hunger Project,” becoming an activist for peace.
Why We Love John Denver
He was an environmentalist
Denver was committed to not only contributing to help preserve the environment, but he was also adamant about raising awareness regarding environmental issues within his music. He was one of the first singers to ever do this!
He started “The Hunger Project”
As an influential person, Denver recognized he had a platform to speak about issues he was passionate about, two of which were peace and bringing an end to the cold war. He started “The Hunger Project” to bring about change!
He used music to bring about change
Whether it was to inspire change in the environment or to bring about peace, Denver was an advocate for many things. He relayed his passions through the music he created!
5 Surprising Facts
John Denver is not his birth name
Denver’s birth-given name was Henry Denver Deutschendorf, Jr., which he changed when he moved to Los Angeles.
Denver’s surname represents the city
Denver was his favorite city, which he regarded as one of the most beautiful places he had ever been — hence, he chose it to become his surname.
He studied architecture
While he did not finish his degree at Texas Tech University, Denver wanted to become an architect before he went into the entertainment industry.
He died in an airplane crash
A very unfortunate airplane crash took the life of Denver, as he could not control the aircraft he was flying.
He got his first instrument at two
His grandmother gave Denver his first guitar when he was just two years old.
John Denver FAQs
What is Denver Denver’s most famous song?
One of the most famous songs was “Leaving on a Jet Plane” and though it was written in 1967, it was released two years later in 1969, when Denver began his solo career.
Was Denver Denver married?
Denver Denver was not married at the time of his death, but he had been married to two women in his life.
Did Denver Denver have children?
Yes, Denver had three children.
John Denver’s birthday dates