John Berry, who is credited with coming up with the band’s name, died Thursday morning while in hospice care in Danvers, Massachusetts.
His father told the magazine his son had battled frontal lobe dementia and the condition had gotten worse in the past few years.
Berry played guitar for the Beastie Boys when the group formed back in 1981. He left a year later after performing on the band’s “Polly Wog Stew” EP.
The Beastie Boys acknowledged Berry’s contributions to the band when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.