Linda McCartney, wife of former Beatle Paul, DIES at 56

LONDON (AP) — Linda McCartney, the American photographer who broke a generation of teen-age girls’ hearts when she married Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, has died of cancer, her publicist said Sunday. She was 56.
Linda McCartney died Friday while on vacation in Santa Barbara, Calif., Geoff Baker said. Her husband and children were with her.
“The blessing was that the end came quickly and she didn’t suffer,” a statement from Paul McCartney’s office said. Two days before her death, Linda and Paul had been horseback riding, one of her main passions, the statement said.
The couple announced in December 1995 that Linda McCartney, a keen vegetarian who marketed her own meat-free dishes, was being treated for breast cancer.
The treatment at first appeared to be working well, but in March the cancer was found to have spread to her liver, Sunday’s statement said.
The McCartneys largely avoided the celebrity lifestyle and lived quietly in remote homes in southern England and Scotland, saying they wanted a normal upbringing for their children and Heather, Linda McCartney’s daughter from her first marriage to geophysicist John Melvyn See.
Many activists hailed her support for their causes.
“Linda was always upbeat about our work against cruelty and we’ll fight harder in her name,” Dan Mathews, a campaign director for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said Sunday. “Linda understood the power of the fork.”
A vegetarian long before it became fashionable, Linda McCartney lent her name to a range of frozen dishes and in 1991 published a cookbook.
Last year, she became Lady Linda when her husband was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Daughter Stella was appointed head designer at the Paris fashion house Chloe last year.
Funeral arrangements were not immediately available.