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Terry Alan Kath
Birth: Jan. 31, 1946
Chicago
Cook County
Illinois, USA
Death: Jan. 23, 1978
Woodland Hills
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Musician. Born the son of Raymond and Evelyn Kath in Chicago, Illinois; as a child he played the drums, the banjo, and finally taught himself to play the guitar. As a teenager, he formed a group to cover such bands as the Ventures. While attending De Paul University in 1966, Kath formed The Big Thing with Walt Paradaizer and Danny Seraphine. Within a year the lineup also included trombonist James Pankow, trumpet player Lee Loughnane, keyboardist Robert Lamm, and bassist Peter Cetera and became the Chicago Transit Authority. The band would become the opening act for Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Hendrix was reported to have said Kath was the better guitarist. In 1968, the band signed with Columbia Records and began recording; releasing their debut album, ‘Chicago Transit Authority' in 1969. ‘Chicago II' was released in March, 1970 and topped out at #4 on the American charts. The following year, ‘Chicago III' climbed one slot. In 1971 they released the massive ‘Chicago at Carnegie Hall' which remains the best selling four LP set ever recorded. The album a year formula continued with ‘Chicago V' in 1972, their first effort that was under one hour in length. ‘Chicago VI' came out in 1973, topping the charts. The following year, Kath married Camelia Ortiz with whom he had one daughter. He had developed an interest in guns and had numerous weapons in his home and often on his person. It was not unusual for him to go target practice or hunting while off the road. ‘Chicago VII,' ‘Chicago VIII,' and ‘Chicago IX' released between 1974 and 1977 all reached the top slot on American charts; and Kath began work on a solo album. On January 23, 1978 at a party at roadie Donnie Johnson's home in Los Angeles, Kath was drinking heavily and showing off one of his automatic pistols. He was asked to put it away. He ejected the magazine to show that the weapon was unloaded. He returned the clip and placed the barrel against his temple. Reassuring everyone that it wasn't loaded, Kath pulled the trigger. The chambered round that he neglected to unload killed him instantly. The Los Angeles County coroner ruled the death an accidental gunshot inflicted under the influence of alcohol and drugs. In 1997, Chicago compiled an album that showcased Kath's best performances. (bio by: Iola) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Raymond Elmer Kath (1912 - 2003)
  Evelyn Meline Haugen Kath (1916 - 1982)

Cause of death: Accidental gunshot
 
Burial:
Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
Glendale
Los Angeles County
California, USA
GPS (lat/lon): 34.1272, -118.24179
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Oct 17, 1999
Find A Grave Memorial# 6681
Terry Alan Kath
Added by: Anonymous
 
Terry Alan Kath
Added by: A.J. Marik
 
Terry Alan Kath
Added by: A.J. Marik
 
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-Anonymous
 Added: Aug. 27, 2014
I miss you Terry. You were one of my music heroes. I remember when it happened, I was devastated. You were one of a kind.
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 Added: Aug. 10, 2014

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 Added: Jun. 7, 2014
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