Deborah Harry of Blondie Fame

By Samuel Phineas Upham

Debbie Harry was born in Miami, Florida to two parents who owned a gift shop in Hawthorne, New Jersey. In some ways, Harry, who would form the band Blondie later in her life, was always destined for a career in broadcasting of some form or another. After graduating Hawthorne High School, she left Hawthorne for New York where she became a secretary for the BBC Radio Office located there.

She would get discovered by Hugh Hefner’s Playboy at some point, becoming a Playboy Bunny for a time.

Her music career began in the late 1960s, where she performed backup vocals for the band “The Wind in the Willows”. She joined “The Stilettoes” in 1974, along with her boyfriend and guitarist Christ Stein. Harry and Stein would later form the group “Blondie”.

Harry was distinctive, to say the least. She was quite photogenic, with two-toned bleach blonde hair, and she quickly became an icon of punk rock and that style of fashion. Harry became so closely associated with the band “Blondie” that most people from that era were quite confused on her real name. There were rumors floating around that she was Deborah Blondie. She did take on the Blondie persona, but preferred to refer to herself as “Dirty Harry”.

Harry has since become an icon of both music and fashion. In 2008, she appeared on a Fall Out Boy album singing backups to “West Coast Smoker”. She is currently singing in residency at the Café Carlyle in New York City, and has released several solo albums in addition to more work with her band, Blondie.


About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Samuel Phineas Upham website or LinkedIn.