Thu. Apr 12, 2007
Bill Biggart Photographer (1947-2001)
One year after 9/11, I wrote what was a very difficult article for me, “‘I’m OK, I’m with the firemen’: In Memory of Bill Biggart.” I’ve never claimed to be any kind of masterful writer, but of all the things I’ve put up on this site over the past decade, it’s one of the works of which I’m proudest. I wrote it from the heart. About a man I never met. But the story of his death that day rocked me to my core in ways I still can’t explain.
However, I’m thankful to say my tiny attempt at honoring him on the web has been vastly superceded, as detailed in an email I got the other day:
A new website has been created for photojournalist Bill Biggart, the only working professional photographer to perish while covering the 9/11 World Trade Center collapse in 2001. His last image was shot just moments before his death. This and many other Biggart images are featured on the site, which was created to expose his work and his life. The website, titled Bill Biggart Photographer (1947-2001), is at www.billbiggart.com.
His 9/11 images capture the horrific devastation of the event, as well as the heartrending emotion of those who experienced it. Other photos on the site provide a glimpse into Biggart’s well-traveled life as a photojournalist. They document historic events he witnessed such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, Palestinian uprisings, and racial strife in his home city of New York.
Wendy Doremus, Biggart’s wife, says, “Bill’s photos display his independent spirit and his exuberant passion for life and photography. He was a person who loved his work and was working at what he loved right up to the end.”
The website was designed by Bill’s good friend and fellow photographer and photo essayist Geoffrey Hiller. The text for the site was written by Tom Vandel, an Oregon writer. All photos were provided by Biggart’s family and Wendy Doremus. Images from other stories Bill Biggart covered will be added over time.
So take a few minutes of your day, and spend them remembering the life of Bill Biggart.