Martha's Vineyard News | Vineyard Photographer Peter Simon Dies at 71 – The Vineyard Gazette – Martha's Vineyard News

Peter Simon, the iconic Martha’s Vineyard photographer whose pictures of people both famous and ordinary, political protests, rock concerts and Island landscapes spanned more than half a century, died Sunday night at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.
He was 71 and had been battling lung cancer for some time.
Beginning in the 1960s and running until the time of his death, his prolific photographic career included rock and roll portraits, the civil rights era, hippie heyday, sports, Jamaica and its reggae stars. He had published numerous books, including On the Vineyard I, II and III, and a yearly calendar. His last book, To Everything There is a Season, was published in 2017 and was a retrospective of his life’s work with more than 700 photographs.
He was a reggae music aficionado and for many years hosted a weekly radio show on WMVY. He produced his own record labels, including the Vineyard Sound volumes that featured compilations of well-known singer-songwriters such as Richie Havens, Jonathan Edwards, Maynard Silva, Johnny Hoy, Susan Tedeschi and his sister Carly Simon.
A longtime year-round resident of Chilmark, Peter was a familiar and ubiquitous presence on the Island, where he would wander about with his camera, often barefoot in all but the coldest months of the year. Lucy Vincent Beach was a favorite summer haunt.
Peter began working for the Gazette in 1969, and over the next five decades contributed thousands of pictures to the weekly newspaper. He never tired of the thrill of having his picture on the front page or editorial page. He was a photojournalist first, and his broad record of work included all the traditional Vineyard events, from the Chilmark Road Race to annual town meetings.
Born in 1947, he grew up summering on the Vineyard and was the son and youngest child of Richard and Andrea Simon, progressives in their era who had a profound influence on him. His father was the founder of the publishing company Simon and Schuster, and was also was an amateur photographer who encouraged Peter’s work.
When Richard Simon died of a heart attack in 1960, Peter inherited his Leica camera.
He dedicated his last book to his father.
In an interview with the Gazette about the book, he said: “My father, before he died, said son, save every negative you’ve ever taken. So I did. I never throw anything out because I listened to him.”
He is survived by his wife Ronni Simon, their son Willie Simon and his sisters Carly, Lucy and Joanna Simon.
Arrangements are incomplete — a full obituary will follow.
A collection of Peter Simon pictures through the years.

Subscribe or become a Friend of the Vineyard Gazette and receive our free newsletters and free and discounted tickets to Gazette events along with our award-winning news and photography.

© 2021 Vineyard Gazette

source