John Berry, a founding member of the Beastie Boys and crucial to the band’s formation in its early years, has died at age 52.
He passed away Thursday morning (May 19) at a hospice in Danvers, Massachusetts. Berry had been fighting a long battle with frontotemporal dementia, according to his stepmother, Louise Berry, and spent the last four years in-and-out of medical facilities.
John Berry met bandmate Michael Diamond in high school as the two, along with Adam Yauch and Kate Schellenbach, founded the group shortly afterward in 1981. Berry left the group after the release of their debut 1982 EP, Polly Wog Stew.
Yauch, also known as MCA, passed away in 2012. He was diagnosed with cancer of his parotid gland and lymph nodes in 2009, which would ultimately take his life.
Our thoughts go out to Berry's family, who plan on celebrating John's life this coming fall.
(Photos from top: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images, Rat Cage Records)