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Maria Elena Holly
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Celebrity's Relative
    (December 20, 1932- )
    Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico
    Birth name is Maria Elena Santiago
    Also known as Maria Elena Santiago-Holly
    Wife of rock and roll pioneer Buddy Holly (m. 1958)
    Worked as a receptionist for New York-based music publisher Peer Music, where she first met Holly
    Widowed six months into the marriage when her husband, along with Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper, died in an early morning airplane crash (Feb. 3, 1959)
    Spent the following decades protecting Buddy Holly's legacy; owns the rights to his name, image, trademarks, and other intellectual property
    Portrayed by Maria Richwine in 'The Buddy Holly Story,' opposite Gary Busey (1978)
    Co-founded, along with Peter Bradley Sr., The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation (TBHEF), in 2010
    Completed a BBC Radio segment with Don McLean, discussing her relationship with Buddy Holly and life spent championing his name 'since the music died,' titled 'Maria Elena: My Life With Buddy Holly' (Feb. 7, 2009)
    Consented to license her husband's name and image to British producers Greg Smith and Alan Janes, collaborating with Paul McCartney, for the staging of the West End 'juke-box musical,' 'Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story,' in 1989
    She made Buddy Holly ask her aunt for permission to take her out on a date (she had never been on one before).
    She insisted on calling herself Buddy's 'secretary' instead of 'his wife,' while on tour, even though he hated it (fans preferred their rock stars to be unmarried).
    She never attended her first husband's funeral, nor would she ever visit his gravesite.
    She advocated several controversial changes to the city of Lubbock, her late husband's hometown.
    The suggestions included naming a city street the 'Buddy Holly Walk of Fame,' naming a local terrace 'Buddy Holly Terrace,' and making him the namesake of a local music festival.
    She threatened legal action against Peggy Sue Gerron, the subject of the Buddy Holly song 'Peggy Sue,' after the publication of Gerron's autobiography 'Whatever Happened to Peggy Sue?' (Jan. 2008)
    She is very humble and soft-spoken.
    She was six years old when her mother died.
    She attended a segregated school for black students when she first came to New York.
    Buddy Holly proposed to her within 5 hours of their first date, handing her a rose and asking her to marry him.
    She was on the receiving end of white racism when brought to Buddy's Lubbock hometown, and when they toured in Jim Crow parts of the country (as were the black members of the touring group).
    She was a month and a half pregnant with Buddy's child at the time of the plane crash (and later suffered a miscarriage).
    She was honored by The Smithereens, with the song 'Maria Elena,' on their album '11' (1989).
    The City of Lubbock held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Buddy and Maria Elena Holly Plaza, built to house a statue of Buddy Holly and an opening to the Lubbock Walk of Fame (May 9, 2011).
    She was present to accept the Hollywood Walk of Fame star posthumously awarded to her husband at the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce ceremony (Sept. 7, 2011).
    She explained her reluctance to ever visit Buddy Holly's gravesite, saying: 'I was not feeling well when he left. I was two weeks pregnant, and I wanted Buddy to stay with me, but he had scheduled that tour. It was the only time I wasn't with him. And I blame myself because I know that, if only I had gone along, Buddy never would have gotten into that airplane.'

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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