In Memoriam: Katie Lee, Fierce Defender of Canyons
Katie Lee — dedicated, fiery, and an outrageously profane defender of the Southwest's canyons and rivers — died at 98 last week in Jerome, Ariz. A dear friend and Center accomplice, Katie loved the Grand Canyon as no one else did, posing for a famous series of nude art photographs in Glen Canyon in 1957 shortly after the Bureau of Reclamation announced it would be inundated by Glen Canyon Dam. The photos and her activism helped launch today's movement to protect rivers and bring down destructive dams all around the country.
Abandoning a burgeoning career as a Hollywood actress, singer and radio entertainer, Katie spent some 60 years, right up to her death, working to save wild desert places in every way she could. She sang songs about the desert, wrote books about the Colorado River, and traveled the country passionately motivating others to become activists. Most recently she was featured in the award-winning 2014 documentary DamNation.
Katie never rested.
Read more about her legacy in Outside.