The Killer – Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis, the greatest singer and piano player in the history of hillbilly music, has been married seven times – and he’s still very much alive.
Give that a second or two to sink in. Seven times. Still alive.
- His first marriage, to Dorothy Barton (who was 14 years old at the time), lasted for 20 months, from February 1952 to October 1953. In a 1978 People magazine interview, Lewis said, “I was 14 when I first got married. My wife was too old for me; she was 17.”
- His second marriage, to Jane Mitchum, was of dubious validity because it occurred 23 days before his divorce from Barton was final. It lasted for four years, from September 1953 to October 1957. The couple had two children: Jerry Lee Lewis Jr. (1954–1973) and Ronnie Guy Lewis.
- His third marriage, to his cousin Myra Gale Brown, lasted for 13 years, from December 1957 to December 1970 (although the couple went through a second marriage ceremony because his divorce from Jane Mitchum was not complete before the first ceremony took place). They had two children together: Steve Allen Lewis (1959–1962) and Phoebe Allen Lewis (1963).
- His fourth marriage, to Jaren Elizabeth Gunn Pate, lasted from October 1971 to June 8, 1982, and they had a daughter, Lori Lee Lewis (1972). Pate drowned in a swimming pool at the home of a friend with whom she was staying, several weeks before divorce proceedings could be finalized.
- His fifth marriage, to Shawn Stephens, lasted 77 days, from June to August 1983, ending with her death. It has been alleged by Richard Ben Cramer that Lewis abused her and was responsible for her death.
- His sixth marriage, to Kerrie McCarver, lasted 20 years, from 1984 to 2004. They have one child: Jerry Lee Lewis III (1987). According to USA Today, McCarver’s divorce settlement was substantial.
- His seventh marriage, to Judith Brown, began March 9, 2012.
Lewis has had six children during his marriages. In 1962, his son Steve Allen Lewis drowned in a swimming pool accident when he was three, and in 1973, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jr. died at the age of 19 when he flipped the Jeep he was driving. The Killer has two surviving sons, Jerry Lee Lewis III and Ronnie Guy Lewis, and two daughters, Phoebe Allen Lewis and Lori Lee Lewis.