An 82-year-old Florida man was among the first Black photographers to die in the U.S. over the past decade, as a result of the country’s widening racial and economic gaps, a report found.
Johnathan B. Williams died Tuesday at his home in Fort Lauderdale, the Florida Times-Union reported, citing a statement from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department.
Williams’ son, Johnathan Williams Jr., said the father was a longtime friend of his mother, a retired nurse who was an African-American woman.
“He was a friend of my mother’s,” Williams said in a statement.
“She taught me how to be a good mother and he taught me to be the best husband I could be.”
Williams also was the subject of a 2011 CBS documentary called “Black Beauty,” which chronicled the life of the celebrated Black photographer, which featured the father of four and his wife, Mary.
He had traveled to China to shoot portraits of young women, including the first black woman to win the Miss Universe title.
A few years later, Williams moved to New York and shot weddings for clients including actress Natalie Wood, actress Scarlett Johansson and former Miss Universe winner Gisele Bundchen.
The Los Angeles Times first reported Williams’ death.
The paper also said Williams had taken photographs of his son, the elder Williams, as well as of his wife and two grandchildren.
Williams had been working as a photographer for the Miami Herald newspaper when he passed, the newspaper said.
A funeral service will be held Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla., where Williams lived with his wife.
The couple had two daughters, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Williams was born in Chicago in 1926.
He married his wife in 1928.
They had four children and three great-grandsons.
Williams is survived by his wife of 45 years, Elizabeth, and his two sons, John and Robert, and their wives.
A memorial service will take place Thursday at 6 p.m. at the family home in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Williams leaves behind a wife, Barbara, who he died in 2012 at the age of 92.
Williams and his family are survived by four grandchildren, a great-great-grandson and five great-aunt.