Maria von Trapp of 'Sound of Music' fame dead at 99

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[February 24, 2014]  (Reuters) Maria von Trapp, a member of the Austrian family whose escape from Nazi Germany and subsequent musical career inspired the famed musical "The Sound of Music," has died at the age of 99, according to newspapers quoting her brother.

Von Trapp died Tuesday but the news was confirmed Saturday by her half-brother Johannes von Trapp, according to the New York Daily News. Von Trapp died of natural causes at her home in Vermont, the paper reported.

No one was immediately available to comment at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont, or at the original family home, Villa Trapp, in Austria.

Von Trapp was one of seven children of the Austrian Naval Captain Georg von Trapp and his wife Agathe Whitehead von Trapp. The father remarried after his wife died and had three more children with his second wife, Maria Augusta von Trapp, who taught the children music and wrote a book that became the inspiration for stage and film productions of that made the story a classic.

The von Trapp family left Austria in 1938 and performed musical numbers across Europe and the United States before settling to live in Vermont, where they ran a resort.

(Reporting by Carey Gillam and Kevin Murphy in Kansas City; editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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