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Updated: Fri, 11 Apr 2014 15:29:39 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Jesse Winchester, musician and draft-dodger, dead at 69



Jesse Winchester, who began his musical career in Montreal after moving there to avoid military service, died of cancer at the age of 69. Jesse Winchester Facebook page

Jesse Winchester, who began his musical career in Montreal after moving there to avoid military service, died of cancer at the age of 69. Jesse Winchester Facebook page

Jesse Winchester, an American singer-songwriter who moved to Montreal in the 1960s to dodge the Vietnam War draft, died in his sleep Friday morning at the age of 69 after a long bout of illness.

Born in Louisiana and raised in Tennessee, Winchester developed his musical talent while living in Montreal. He often played at a hotel in Morin Heights, Que., run by several Tennessee transplants during the 1970s.​  

Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter granted him amnesty in the late 1970s, allowing Winchester to return to his home country to tour. However, the accomplished and revered country, roots and folk musician only moved back to the United States in 2002, after spending many years in Canada. ​

According to his official Facebook page, he had been receiving hospice care at his home in Virginia. He had previously battled cancer of the esophagus.

Last month, he cancelled several tour dates due to illness.

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