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Singer-Activist Mimi Farina, 56, Dies in California

Published on Thursday, July 19, 2001 by Reuters
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Singer and social activist Mimi Farina, who with her sister and fellow singer Joan Baez was a member of "folk royalty" in the 1960s but left behind a music career to devote herself to charitable work, died of cancer on Wednesday at her home in Marin County, California. She was 56.

Mimi Farina

Farina recorded several hits in the 1960s both as a solo artist and with her husband, Richard Farina, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1966.

She was best known in the San Francisco area for founding Bread & Roses, a nonprofit organization launched in 1974 that brought live music and top performers to people in jails, psychiatric wards and drug rehabilitation centers.

"Mimi filled empty souls with hope and song. She reminded prisoners that they were human beings with names and not just numbers," Baez said in a statement released to the Bay City News Service. "The devastation I feel at losing her is unbearable."

Farina leaves behind her parents, Albert Baez and Joan Baez Sr., as well as her two sisters, two nephews, a niece and her partner, reporter Paul Liberatore.

A public ceremony honoring Farina at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco is scheduled for Aug. 7.



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