Influential fashion and street photographer Bill Cunningham passes away at age 87
posted Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 10:21 AM EDT
Cunningham worked for The Times for nearly 40 years, capturing an extensive library of images that when viewed together create a rich visual history of New York City and its people. Much to his trepidation, Cunningham's success and eventual celebrity status got in the way of his work, blending in and searching for subjects on the streets.
Despite his artistic success and numerous honors and awards bestowed upon him, Bill Cunningham lived a simple life. As the Times says, "Asceticism was a hallmark of his brand…He slept on a single-size cot, showered in a shared bathroom," and even tore up checks over the years from other publications. Refusing even water at the innumerable galas and events he photographed, Cunningham worked his entire career as something of an outsider to the often glamorous world he photographed.
Bill Cunningham lived his life as an artist obsessed with capturing the personal style of people from all walks of life. He was a man who refused nearly all of life's luxuries in pursuit of what he believed in. New York City will not be the same without him, but the fashion and personalities he pursued and chronicled for so many years will live on through his work.