Janet D’Addario, co-founder of D'Addario & Company, passed away on 14 June at the age of 72. The cause was complications from gall bladder cancer, said her husband, Jim D’Addario.
Janet co-founded D’Addario & Co in 1973 with Jim. The couple met when she was an 18-year-old singer with a folk group and Jim was a budding musician. They would go on to marry, sing and perform on stage together. Their 50-year partnership would go to produce a family, a philanthropic legacy, and one of the biggest music accessories businesses in the world – including electric and acoustic guitar strings.
In the early days of the company Janet designed its first advertising as well as the packaging design for all its products. Over the years her roles would include head of Artist Relations and co-founder of the D’Addario Foundation, which continues to provide music education to young children in underserved communities.
Janet served as the Managing Director of the Foundation for 20 years—helping to raise awareness for the cause by producing classical music concerts in cities around the world.
Ms. D’Addario's philanthropy was a cornerstone of her life; she would go on to serve 11 years on the Board of Long Island Cares, the charity created by Harry Chapin to eradicate hunger on Long island. She was particularly close to Providence House, a New York institution that provides transitional housing for homeless women and children. She served as a Board Member there for 21 years and its President between 2004 and 2019.
“Providence House is, in so many ways, the very embodiment of my wife," said Jim D'Addario. "When she saw pain, she wanted to ease it. When she saw hunger, she brought food. When she saw homelessness, she provided shelter. But most importantly when Janet saw someone with no hope, she worked hard to provide them with the tools to restore their will to overcome the challenges they were facing.”
She is survived by Jim, their three children and eight grandchildren. In lieu of any gifts or flowers, the family is asking anyone wishing to pay their respects to consider a modest donation to Providence House (opens in new tab)