Happy 100th Birthday Marjorie!

October 6, 2017 ~

Marjorie Greenblatt was born in Atlantic City on October 6, 1917. In 1935, after graduating from high school, Marjorie moved to New York City on scholarship and joined the Martha Graham Dance Company. As a core company member for 20 years, Marjorie appeared in such iconic pieces as Primitive Mysteries and Appalachian Spring. Two of Marjorie’s early students were Erick Hawkins and Merce Cunningham.

Marjorie met Woody Guthrie in 1942, when he was a member of the Almanac Singers and together they had four children; Cathy, Arlo, Joady, and Nora.

Marjorie was with Woody throughout his illness with Huntington’s disease and determined to find a cure, she founded the Huntington’s Disease Society of America on September 18, 1967. Marjorie spent 16 years traveling the world talking about Huntington’s, bringing together patients, caretakers, doctors, and politicians. Marjorie was a messenger and activist. She gave a message of hope and strength to a new generation. Her actions changed legislation for the betterment of humankind.


In a letter to their unborn child, Woody wrote, “Do you know what a hoper is? Well, that’s what your mama is, a hoper. She has more hopes per square inch than almost anybody else. Hopes about this and hopes about that, hopes about you, about me, about all of the relatives, hopes about lots of people, all people. I ought to say, she’s what’s called a planner. I guess she makes more plans in a day than fascism could tear down in a century. I really believe this was what made me like her…Every detail of her life is not only a plan, but it is a dream, and the whole plan of a better world is one that she dreams about always. And she dreams it so plain and so strong that everybody who gets close to her notices it, and picks it up like a radio taking music out of the air.”

LISTEN to Woody’s love song to Marjorie Guthrie
“She Came Along To Me”, Words by Woody Guthrie, Music by Billy Bragg & Wilco


3 thoughts on “Happy 100th Birthday Marjorie!

  • November 7, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    I loved Marjorie too. I was a student of hers for many years st Marjorie Mazzia’s School of dance in Sheepshead Bay , She was inspiring not only about modern dance but would meet with us at the end of the class to help us to grow up to be proud and not ashamed and to value life and to do good deeds, I will always cherish my time with her at the School , Fredda Wieder

  • June 30, 2018 at 7:52 am

    Guthrie died of complications of Huntington’s disease on October 3, 1967. By the time of his death, his work had been discovered by a new audience, introduced to them through Dylan, Pete Seeger , Ramblin’ Jack Elliott , his ex-wife Marjorie and other new members of the folk revival, and his son Arlo .

  • March 13, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    The Marjorie Guthrie Project is to be commended for telling the life story of this amazing woman. Did you know that Marjorie is mentioned in a blog-post published by the Library of Congress?

    It is found in “In the Muse : Performing Arts Blog”. The title is: “A plan and a hope” : Woody Guthrie, Sophie Maslow and the many girls of modern dance” by Melissa Wertheimer on August 31, 2018. I believe the actual post was written by Hallie Chametzky who was working at LC as a Music Division Fellow.

    According to the post “Marjorie Mazia, the dancer who accompanied Sophie to Woody’s door, was also the flashcard-bearing teacher who helped him learn to play like the recording.”


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