On this very sad day in 2002, the great American photographer and portraitist Herb Ritts passed away at age fifty, after quietly giving in the HIV. Ritts pretty much put actor Richard Gere on the map, shooting him when he was very young and making him look both classically handsome – and hot as hell. Ritts had that ability, and he used it to great advantage on Janet Jackson, Cindy Crawford, Tom Cruise, Paul Newman, Gere – the list goes on and on. Ritts shot all the famed supermodels of the 90’s and add hundreds of covers for Vanity Fair, and directed music videos for Chris Isaacs, Janet Jackson, and many others. Since his death in 2002, Ritts has had major photo exhibitions of his work staged at The Getty and LACMA and many more museums. He’s known as the greatest celebrity photographer of the nineties – as well as an art photographer, whose work is very collectible – and expensive – fifteen years after he died.
Also having passed on 2006 were the 38th U.S. President Gerald Ford, who lived to the grand old age of 93, and American pop singer Teena Marie, who died young at ager fifty four.