Jeff Hanneman, Slayer Guitarist, Dead at 49

Guitarist suffered liver failure

Jeff Hanneman, guitarist and founding member of the thrash-metal group Slayer, died on Thursday, a spokeswoman for the group told TheWrap. He was 49.

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According to a statement from the group, Hanneman died at approximately 11 a.m. near his Southern California home, and suffered liver failure while hospitalized.

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The group added that Hanneman "will be sorely missed."

Born in Oakland, Calif., in 1964, Hanneman grew up in Long Beach, Calif., forming the group with fellow guitarist Kerry King in 1981.

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Hanneman fell into ill health in early 2011, after being bitten by a spider. According to an earlier post on the band's website, Hanneman faced the possibility of having his arm amputated, and was put in a medically-induced coma while dead and dying tissue was removed from his arm. The group said that he was able to begin playing again after a series of skin grafts and rehabilitation therapy.

Hanneman is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy, and brothers Michael and Larry.