Jerry Garcia was Born in San Francisco on August 1, 1942. He was known as "the Spanish-American kid with a missing finger,". His childhood was difficult; he saw his father drown when he was five and was unable to save him. This was also around the time that he lost his finger.
Sometime in the late 50's Jerry migrated to Palo Alto, where he met Pigpen (Ron McKernan). The two became fast friends; practically blood brothers.
Jerry and Pigpen played music together as early as 1961 and continued to play together for the next 11 years. At first, they had a jug band going, but at the start of 1965, Pigpen was able to convince Jerry to put a rock and roll band together...the Grateful Dead.
The Dead started attracting a major following from the very start, and until his death, Pigpen was the "soul" of the band.
When he died, the band changed; and Jerry Garcia became it's soul.
On August 9, 1995, Jerry Garcia was found dead at 4:23 am PDT.