Linda McCartney vs. Yoko Ono: rivalry and comparisons

Of course, everyone knows the about the rivalry between Yoko Ono and Linda McCartney, both in the last phase of the Beatle years and for almost the next thirty years. The two wives of the most famous Beatles tried to stake out their different characteristics, but Yoko and Linda had some very interesting things in common. Let’s look at three of them.

1. Both had wealthy parents who lived in the affluent New York City suburb of Scarsdale in Westchester County. Linda Eastman actually grew up in Scarsdale and graduated from Scarsdale High in 1959. Mr. and Mrs. Ono moved to Scarsdale in 1952 when Yoko’s father was transferred to run the New York office of the Bank of Tokyo; in her early 20’s, Yoko would soon go to the U.S. to live with them.

2. Both Linda Eastman and Yoko Ono attended Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville,NY, a twenty minute ride from Scarsdale, though at different times. Neither would graduate from Sarah Lawrence, both leaving to pursue artistic endeavors.

3. Both of their fathers were very hard-working and successful, while both mothers came from old-money backgrounds. Linda’s father was Lee Eastman, who worked his way through Harvard Law School and became a prominent Manhattan tax attorney who would also handle entertainment law after heavily investing in Broadway shows and song catalogs. Linda’s mother was the former Louise Linder, the daughter of the founder and CEO of the famous Linder Department Stores chain in the Midwest.

Yoko’s mother was a Yasuda, the family that was the backbone of Japan’s business empire, mainly financial, commercial and industrial conglomerates. Her mother, Isoko Yasuda, was the great-granddaughter of the founder of the Bank of Tokyo. On the other hand, Yoko’s father, Eisuke Ono, was from a much lower social caste. From a Samauri family whose lineage reached back to a 9th century emperor, Mr. Ono became a top executive with the Bank of Japan. While his wife’s family was from a higher class, the Onos became very prominent in politics.

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