George Harrison, known as the quiet Beatle and the group's spiritual guide, lost his four-year battle with cancer. He died Nov. 29 at 1:30 pm (PST) at a friend's house in Los Angeles. His wife, Olivia, and son Dhani, 24, were with him.
"He left this world as he lived in it, conscious of God, fearless of death, and at peace, surrounded by family and friends,'' the Harrison family said in a statement. "He often said, 'Everything else can wait but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another.'''
The media-shy Harrison was probably the most influential, exploring Eastern culture, Indian music and meditation – all of which influenced the Beatles and their songs – and organized the first large-scale benefit concert – 1971's The Concert for Bangladesh, which served as a forerunner for such events as "Live Aid" and "Farm Aid."
Among his contributions to the Beatles catalog are chestnuts "Here Comes The Sun," My Sweet Lord" and "Something," a song that Frank Sinatra covered and called the "greatest love song."
Following the Beatles' breakup in 1970, Harrison etched out a sporadically successful career, including organizing The Concert for Bangladesh in New York City, producing films such as Monty Python's "Life of Brian', touring Japan with Eric Clapton' and forming The Traveling Wilburys, a superstar group with old friends Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and former ELO bandmember Jeff Lynne, with each assuming a pseudonym.
Harrison's health problems began in 1997 when he underwent an operation for a cancerous lump on his neck, followed by radiation therapy. A year later he disclosed that he had been treated for throat cancer. "I got it purely from smoking," he said at the time.
While recovering from almost being fatally wounded shortly after Christmas 1999, when a schizophrenic attacker entered his Oxfordshire home and stabbed him in the chest, his cancer returned.
Earlier this year, Harrison underwent surgery at the Mayo clinic to remove a cancerous lump from one of his lungs. Afterwards, he urged his fans not to worry, because he had made an excellent recovery. But the cancer continued to return and this past summer, underwent additional treatment in Switzerland and the US. Last month, in a "last-ditch" attempt to save his life, Harrison went to New York and underwent an experimental treatment.
With his death, two Beatles are left – Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. John Lennon was shot to death in 1980 by a deranged fan.
"I am devastated and very, very sad," Paul McCartney told reporters outside his London home Friday. `"He was a lovely guy and a very brave man and had a wonderful sense of humor. He is really just my baby brother."