Harry Chapin

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Harry Forster Chapin (December 7, 1942July 16, 1981) was a American folk singer, playwright, known for his story songs. Later in his life he focused his energy on the philanthropic efforts with a special focus on world hunger with creation of World Hunger Year. He also performed benefit concerts for hundreds of other organizations during his career. Toward the end of his career, half his concerts were benefits.


Harry was the second oldest of four brothers: Jim, Tom, and Steve of jazz drummer James Forbes Chapin and Elspeth (Burke) Chapin. . Harry also had other stepbrothers and stepsisters. Harry married Sandy Gaston on November 28, 1968. Harry and Sandy had two children: Josh and Jen. Harry's stepchildren from Sandy's first marriage were Jaime, Jonothon, and Jason.


Harry passed away on July 16, 1981 at the age of 38. He died in an automobile accident with a semi-truck on the Long Island Expressway (LIE) in Long Island, New York. The official cause of death was listed as heart attack. He is buried in the Huntington Rural Cemetery in Huntington, Long Island, New York. Harry was on the way to a business meeting when he was killed. Later that day he was scheduled for a benefit concert on at Eisenhower Park on Long Island, New York.

Extended Chapin Family

Many members of the extended Chapin Family lead or have lead public lives in the arts.


  • Tom Chapin (occasional performances) - guitar, background vocals


Main Article: Harry Chapin discography

Harry Chapin was best known for his Cat's in Cradle, and his story songs, His career also included directing/writing documentaries and industrial films, scoring soundtracks to movies and TV shows, composing, producing, and performing in his own musicals.

During his rather brief career he released 11 musical albums. Numerous anthologies and other previously unreleased material was made available posthumously.

Tribute Artists

Various artists perform Harry Chapin tribute concerts that feature the songs of Harry Chapin. In the spirit of Chapin's activism, these concerts are often benefits for a hunger-related charity. These artists include:

Tribute Songs

Numerous songs have been written about Harry Chapin. They include:

Philanthropic Organizations

Harry either founded these organizations or there is direct link to the charity and Harry.

Other notable Harry Chapin websites

No longer with us:


External links