Dr. Rachel Owen, who for 20 years was the romantic partner of Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and the mother of his two children, passed away Sunday following a battle with cancer. She was 48 years old.
According to an obituary posted to the website of Pembroke College – University of Oxford, where she taught as a Retained Lecturer in Italian, Owen had been in declining health for the last year. Despite her illness, she continued teaching up until recently.
An expert in medieval Italian literature, Owen received a PhD on the illustrations of the early manuscripts of Dante’s Divine Comedy. She was also a renowned artist and printmaker, who recently staged an exhibit of prints inspired by the Cantos of Divine Comedy.
Owen and Yorke were partners for 23 years and had two children together, a son named Noah and a daughter named Agnes. Despite Yorke’s superstar status, Owen lived an extremely private life and was rarely seen in public with the Radiohead singer.
The couple split in August 2015 and the demise of their relationship heavily influenced Radiohead’s latest album, A Moon Shaped Pool.
Below, watch Radiohead perform “True Love Waits” during a concert in Paris earlier this year: