On October 1, my friend Johnny Iacono called to invite me to have lunch with him and some of our old cronies from Sports Illustrated. He mentioned Bill Eppridge would also be there. I said if Bill’s coming I would surely come as well, as I hadn’t seen Bill in a while. He’s one of my heroes. A day and a half later I was watching the news and saw a portrait of Bill Eppridge on the screen and some of his photos and guessed he had passed.
Bill was a beautiful, human being as well as an extremely talented and great photojournalist. He was humble about what he’d accomplished over the last few decades.
For the record and for those not familiar with Bill’s work , Bill made the very enduring historic image of mortally wounded Senator Robert F. Kennedy lying on the floor of a Los Angeles hotel in June 1968. Mr. Kennedy had just won the California primary and was delivering an acceptance speech when he was shot by an Assassin. Both JoAnne and I had an opportunity to go to his retrospective at the Fairfield Museum a while back. I had no idea about how many other great iconic photographs, that I remembered in my minds eye, that he had made. The depth and scope of his work at that show really brought it home about how important his contribution was as a journalist.
On one level, if photography is magic then Ann Raine was Houdini. She put forth an unbelievable effort in everything that she did, and she reinvented herself on at least five occasions. We had very long discussions on where she wanted to go photographically, and in many ways I encouraged her with all my heart and soul. That was on the right hand; on the left hand I explained to her that the overall perception of photography was losing some of its magical powers. With the advent of digital, the image became a little too easy and a little too common. Having said that, the cream always comes to the top, and Ann was on the top and in many ways still is. Both JoAnne and I think of her all the time. There’s no doubt that she’s no longer in this consciousness but she has progressed and moved on to a finer one. Her great work will always be here; it will be archival in the truest sense of the word and last to infinity. The next time I see you, you are going to have to lead me on your workshop.
Please see the beautiful tribute from Warren Rosenberg.
One of the greatest sports photographers of our time, is John Iacono. I like to think of Johnny as the guaranteed man,no matter what the situation, whatever the weather conditions, lighting conditions, hot or cold, near of far, Johnny always delivers great photographs. There is no doubt in my mind that he has to be the nicest guy in the world. So much for Leo Durocher “Nice guys finish last.” Johnny finished first , most of the time. I’m proud to call him my friend. We’ve worked on many assignments over the years together and it’s always a pleasure.And not for anything, ya gotta love those brown eyes.
p.s. I don’t think he was happy with me sticking a camera in his face.