Tonight, that evening breeze you felt crossing 5th Avenue was more likely the sighing of thousands of fashionistas, journalists and assorted New Yorkers who had just heard about the death of Bill Cunningham. The photographer who chronicled the social scene for the New York Times passed away on Saturday at 87 after being hospitalized recently for a stroke. Bill was a legend who touched the hearts of everyone he met with his grace, courteousness and smile.
I’ll never forget him. To an insecure and easily-intimidated young gossip reporter rushing from movie premieres in midtown to restaurant openings in Harlem, it was always a pleasure to arrive at an event and run into Bill. Sitting astride his bicycle, he’d greet you with a grin and tell you all about who had just arrived and what they were wearing, but never with an attitude and always as if he’d just happened to have ridden by. Good night, Bill.