Beatles' First Road Manager Neil Aspinall Dies

03/24/2008 at 01:30 PM EDT

Beatles' First Road Manager Neil Aspinall Dies
in 1964, clockwise from top left: George Harrison, John Lennon, Neil Apsinall, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr
Neil Aspinall, a longtime friend and member of The Beatles' business enterprises, died of cancer in New York City, surviving members of the band announced Monday, the Associated Press reports. He was 66.

British newspapers reported over the weekend that Paul McCartney, 65, visited the hospital where Aspinall, who was a Liverpool school chum of McCartney and George Harrison's, was being treated.

"All his friends and loved ones will greatly miss him, but will always retain the fondest memories of a great man," said a statement released by McCartney, Ringo Starr, the widows of Harrison and John Lennon (Yoko Ono), and the band's Apple Corps Ltd. Company, for which Aspinall had served as CEO until stepping down last year.

Aspinall began with the Fab Four as their original road manager – driving them to their earliest gigs.

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