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Iconic folk singer and activist Pete Seeger dead at 94

Pete Seeger, seen here in 2009, wrote songs including
Pete Seeger, seen here in 2009, wrote songs includingJason Reed / Reuters

Pete Seeger, the iconic banjo-strumming folk singer and activist who performed for migrant workers and presidents, died on Monday. He was 94.

Seeger, the writer or co-writer of "If I Had a Hammer," "Turn, Turn, Turn," and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," died of natural causes in a New York City hospital, his grandson Kitama Cahill-Jackson confirmed to NBC News early Tuesday.  

"Be wary of great leaders," he told The Associated Press after a 2011 Manhattan Occupy march. "Hope that there are many, many small leaders."

His skepticism of those in power carried through his career.  He was a longtime supporter of the labor movement, and supported the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements.  Seeger was also convicted of contempt of Congress after refusing to answer questions at the House Un-American Activities Committee. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.