Late singer and multi-instrumentalist best known as a founding member of the influential jam band The Grateful Dead. He died from liver damage resulting from alcoholism at age 27.
He played blues organ and sang in a number of bands before The Grateful Dead, including Warlocks and Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions.
He received a posthumous induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the rest of The Grateful Dead in 1994.
His father was a radio DJ.
He briefly dated soul singing legend Janis Joplin.