Kris Kristofferson Obituary: A Life of Music and Movies

Kris Kristofferson Obituary
Kris Kristofferson Obituary

Kris Kristofferson, a great American singer, songwriter, and actor, died on February 14, 2024, at the age of 87, in his Maui, Hawaii, home. He was standing with loved ones and friends who were lamenting the passing of a legendary figure in music and entertainment.

Kristofferson was best known for his songs “Me and Bobby McGee”, “For the Good Times”, “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down”, and “Help Me Make It Through the Night”, as well as his performances in films such as Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, A Star Is Born, Convoy, and the Blade trilogy. In this post, we will reflect on his life and career and pay honour to his legacy.

Early Life and Education

Kristoffer Kristofferson was born on June 22, 1936, in Brownsville, Texas, to Mary Ann and Lars Henry Kristofferson, a United States Army Air Corps officer. He moved about frequently as a child due to his father’s military duty, eventually settling in San Mateo, California, where he graduated from high school in 1954.

He was an outstanding athlete and scholar who attended Pomona College to study literature and philosophy. He also competed in rugby, football, and track and field, and was featured in Sports Illustrated for his performances.

He obtained a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford University, where he earned a master’s degree in English literature. He also began writing and singing songs in local bars, influenced by folk and country music. He met his first wife, Frances Beer, in Oxford, and they married in 1960. Before their divorce in 1969, they had two children, Tracy and Kris.

Military Service and Music Career

After graduating from Oxford, Kristofferson joined the United States Army and became a helicopter pilot. He was stationed in Germany, then in Vietnam, where he flew sorties and received numerous awards. He also continued to write songs and submit them to Nashville, trying to break into the music industry.

He was offered a teaching post at the United States Military Academy at West Point, but turned it down to follow his musical goals. He resigned from the Army in 1965, against his father’s wishes, and relocated to Nashville.

He struggled to make a living as a songwriter, working odd jobs like caretaker, barman and helicopter pilot. He got a job as a studio engineer at Columbia Records, where he met Johnny Cash, who became both his mentor and buddy.

He also met the singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, who encouraged him to compose more personal and poetic songs. He signed a publishing deal with Combine Music, and musicians like Roger Miller, Ray Price, Roy Orbison, and Jerry Lee Lewis covered his songs.

He also formed The Borderlands and recorded his albums, including Kristofferson, The Silver Tongued Devil, and I.  Janis Joplin recorded his song “Me and Bobby McGee” in 1970, and it became a posthumous number-one hit following her death.

The same year, he earned the Country Music Association’s Song of the Year award for “Sunday Morning Comin’ Down,” which became a hit for Johnny Cash. He also won a Grammy for Best Country Song for “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” which became a smash with Sammi Smith.

He became one of the most successful and influential songwriters of his period, and he was regarded as a pioneer of the outlaw country movement alongside Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Merle Haggard.

Personal Life

He married his third wife, Lisa Meyers, in 1983. They had five children, Jesse, Jody, Johnny, Kelly, and Blake, and remained married until his death. He also had a close relationship with his eight grandchildren, and often spent time with them at his home in Hawaii.

Later Years and Death

Kristofferson continued to act and record music in his latter years, appearing in films including Lone Star, Blade, Payback, Planet of the Apes, and Dolphin Tale. He also made albums like Closer to the Bone, Feeling Mortal, and The Cedar Creek Sessions.

He has earned numerous honours and accolades, including the Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Country Music Association, and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

In addition, he was elected into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1977 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004. He had health troubles in his final decade and was misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2006.

Kris Kristofferson Obituary

He eventually discovered that he had Lyme disease, which caused memory loss among other symptoms. He had treatment and recovered, but his condition deteriorated again in 2020. He retired from touring and performing to spend more time with his family and friends.

On February 14, 2024, he died quietly at home in Maui, Hawaii, of natural causes. He was 87 years old. He is survived by his wife Lisa, eight children, eight granddaughters, and brother Kraigher. According to tributes on social media and in the media, his admirers, friends, and coworkers also remember him.

He was hailed for his contributions to music and film, as well as his sincerity, kindness, and spirit. Following a private ceremony, his family and close friends laid him to rest in the Maui Veterans Cemetery.

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Our condolences are with Kris Kristofferson’s Obituary friends and family members. You can also share your condolences towards his family in the comments section below.


Kris Kristofferson was a music and film legend, a country outlaw, and a stage and screen sensation. He was a composer, singer, actor, pilot, scholar, spouse, father, grandfather, and friend. His songs and stories impacted millions of people and inspired generations of artists and fans. He had a long and rewarding life, leaving a lasting impact. He will be missed, but not forgotten. Rest in peace, Kris Kristofferson.

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