Ian Kevin Curtis was born on 15 July 1956, in Stretford. He grew up in Macclesfield. Ian developed an interest in literature and music. After graduating from Macclesfield King's School, he was employed in a variety of jobs: he notably worked at Manchester's Rare Records Ltd in 1973 and later as a civil servant.
He married Deborah Woodruffe in 1975. They settled in Macclesfield, 77 Barton Street. They had a daughter, Natalie, who was born in 1979. In the last years of his short life Ian suffered from epilepsy, in a time where the medication was rather inefficient and had many side-effects.
After attending one of the two Sex Pistols gig in Manchester he aimed at forming a band, and so did his future band mates who were also at the gig. He joined the band which was to become Joy Division in 1976, being their singer and lyricist.
His lyrics often depicted traumas and self-questioning, in the existentialist approach. His deep baritone voice was the perfect medium to render the unusual importance of the text in the songs.
On stage, Ian would stand still close to the mike stand, almost leaning on it, then suddenly he would dance frenetically, throwing his arms and legs all around, in a way that would relate to the epileptic fits he suffered.
His health condition worsened and the intense touring of Joy Division and the personal problems he had to face also took their toll. He had met Annik Honoré while in Belgium in late 1979, and they had fallen in love, sharing different interests and a special connection, but Ian was married and a father and he felt guilt.
On 18th May 1980, the day before Joy Division was due to leave for their first tour of the USA, Ian hanged himself in his house in Macclesfield. He was cremated in Macclesfield cemetery.