By Mark Rhoads
The life of internationally-known opera star and tenor singer Jerry Hadley came to a tragic end on July 18, 2007 as a result serious injuries from a suicide attempt a few days ago at his home in Clinton Corners, New York. Hadley won three Grammy Awards and had a world-wide following of fans. He was 55, divorced, and had two sons. Newspapers in New York say he was battling depression. He was highly regarded in the music world.
Jerry Hadley was born on June 16, 1952 in Manlius, Illinois in Bureau County and grew up nearby in the tiny town of Thomas. He attended Bureau County public schools and graduated from Bradley University in Peoria in 1974. He earned his masters degree in voice at the University of Illinois School of Music at Champaign-Urbana. After further music study in Illinois and roles with regional companies, in 1978 he left Illinois when he was recruited by the famed opera singer Beverly Sills for the New York City Opera. His many friends, classmates, and admirers in central Illinois mourn his death.