R.I.P. Bill Cunningham
Just heard the news that yesterday New York Times society photographer Bill Cunningham succumbed yesterday to the stroke which had felled him a few days earlier. He was 87, still riding around town on on his bicycle, still peddling from pillar to post taking snaps. My dealings with him were mostly about 15 years ago when I was p.r. director at New-York Historical Society. I found him to be a unique combination of a boy and a gentleman, always cheerful, pleasant, polite, humble, and apt to make everyone in the room feel like a celeb. He was that most self-contradictory of creatures, a democratic papparazzo, in the employ of one of the most powerful publications in the world. Because of this, he had the rare ability to make New York City feel like a small town. Everybody, from the largest New York institutions to the smallest not-for-profits has their Bill Cunningham testimony. Everybody knew him — and he made everybody feel like royalty. For more on this extraordinary character I highly recommend the film Bill Cunningham’s New York.