The youngest brother of folk singer/songwriter Jack Hardy, Jeff Hardy played bass and sang background vocals in his brother's band for 11 years. He was a part of the close-knit community of folk musicians in New York's Greenwich Village in the '70s and '80s, a member of the Musician's Co-Op that ran the Speakeasy nightclub and published The Fast Folk Musical Magazine. He performed with dozens of musicians in New York clubs and toured with his brother around the U.S. and in Europe.
In the '90s, with a family to support, Hardy went to cooking school and trained as a chef. He worked in restaurants, then took a job in the corporate dining room of the financial firm Cantor Fitzgerald, located in the upper floors of the north tower of the World Trade Center. He prepared breakfasts and lunches, which required him to get to work by six a.m. He was at work on the morning of September 11, 2001, when an airliner hijacked by terrorists crashed into the building, and was lost in the building's subsequent collapse. "My brother didn't have an enemy in the world," Jack Hardy told The New York Times. "He didn't have a political thought in his body, not a religious thought in his body, to the chagrin of my parents. Even the people who hated me loved him." Jeff Hardy was survived by his wife, Suzanne Gabriel, and two sons, aged seven and eleven.