Steve Schapiro, Prize-Winning Photographer, Dies at 87

Steve Schapiro, Prize-Winning Photographer, Dies at 87
U.S. photographer Steve Schapiro gives a press conference at the Kunsthalle museum in Rostock, northeastern Germany, on March 22, 2013. (Bernd Wuestneck/DPA/AFP via Getty Images)
The Associated Press

NEW YORK—Steve Schapiro, a photographer whose images ranged from the March on Washington to the set of “The Godfather” and other films, has died at age 87.

Schapiro died Saturday at his home in Chicago, according to spokesperson Heidi Schaeffer. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer.

A New York City native who studied under the World War II photographer W. Eugene Smith, Schapiro started out as a freelance photographer in the early 1960s and was on hand for many of the decade's historic moments, whether the 1963 March on Washington or Robert F. Kennedy's presidential run in 1968. His work appeared in Time, Life, and other publications.

On Monday, the national holiday for the Rev. Martin Luther King's birthday, “Selma” filmmaker Ava Duvernay cited the contributions of Schapiro, who photographed the 1965 march from Montgomery, Alabama, to Selma.

She included a Schapiro image of King, looking out anxiously amid other civil rights leaders.

In the 1970s, Schapiro became a favorite among filmmakers and actors in New York and Hollywood and was on the set for “The Godfather,” “Chinatown,” “Taxi Driver,” and more recent movies such as “The Man Who Fell to Earth” and “Billy Madison.” His subjects included Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando, Orson Welles, and Barbra Streisand.

Schapiro's pictures appeared in galleries around the world and were compiled for such books as “Schapiro's Heroes,” “The Godfather Family Album,” and “Then and Now." In 2017, he won the Lucie Award for Achievement in Photojournalism.

Survivors include his wife of 39 years, Maura Smith; sons Theophilus Donoghue and Adam Shapiro, and daughters Elle Harvey and Taylor Schapiro.

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