Gary Friedman covering the Endeavour arrival in 2012. Photo by Gary Leonard.
Gary Friedman, a stalwart of the Los Angeles Times photo staff for more than 30 years, died on Wednesday. Friends had been updating Facebook on his battle with cancer in recent months, and posted the news this afternoon that he had died. I don't have Gary's exact age.
He wrote on the Times' Framework photo blog sometime around 2010 that "most people dream about doing what I’ve been fortunate to do for almost 40 years, documenting the world, telling stories, informing and entertaining. I’m so lucky to live this dream." He took a buyout from the Times late in 2015.
His Times bio said that Gary was born in Detroit and started his journalism career at the age of 16, working for his local newspaper, the Southfield Eccentric. In 1976, he was an intern at National Geographic. "Among his honors, Friedman was the recipient of a World Press Photo award in 1981 for a series on conjoined twins," the bio reads. "He has traveled widely, covering such projects as presidential campaigns, Super Bowls, Olympic Games and the Sept. 11 attack in New York. Friedman also covered the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union and the 1992 Los Angeles riots."
When I see an obituary I will post a link. [June 15 5:30 p.m. update: Here is the Los Angeles Times obituary. At this time, the name Gary Friedman is trending on Los Angeles Twitter.]
Friedman for many years covered the Rose Parade from the Surfing Dogs Natural Balance float, alongside dogs on surfboards. That's where this photo comes from, taken by colleague and friend Raul Roa. Friends and news colleagues took to social media today to pay their respects to Gary. Sample:
Gary Friedman, LA Times photographer, your zest for life follows to the next level. We will miss you dearly. pic.twitter.com/kXldQCdSy2— LAWRENCE K. HO (@lstomsl) June 15, 2017
Life is such a precious, precarious thing.Thanks Gary Friedman for always reminding us of this simple truth. Long may your light shine on us pic.twitter.com/ZH0n2iQ71u— Genaro Molina (@GenaroMolina47) June 15, 2017
Utterly devastated and heartbroken to hear this news. Gary was a great colleague to all at the LA Times. Rest easy, GF. @GenaroMolina47 https://t.co/7G5PBluiaT— kurt streeter (@kurtstreeter) June 15, 2017
RIP, Gary Friedman. We will miss your humor and outsized personality. Your portfolio of outstanding photos lives on forever #LAT pic.twitter.com/2yB4gze9jG— Chris Erskine (@erskinetimes) June 15, 2017
Some of the best times I had on assignment 4 the @latimes were w genius photog @friedmanphoto. We’ll always have Vegas, Gary. RIP sweet man.— MariaElena Fernandez (@writerchica) June 15, 2017
Gary Friedman, right, with columnist Steve Lopez last September. Photo: Gary Leonard.