Bill Jones, the highly distinguish and published African American photographer has passed away at 83. According to Jones’ granddaughter, Latoya “Toy” Jones, he died on Sat., June 25, 2016 at 12 noon, while holding her hand after suffering from dementia since 2014.
Photojournalist Malcolm Ali was with the family during his passing.
“He was a pioneer," said Malcolm Ali, who mentored under Bill Jones. "Before cell phones, before digital, there was Bill with his camera. There will never be another one like him.”
Jones career expanded for more than 50 years. His countless images provided the public with a rare look into the lives of the country’s most notable and influential people that include, high profile entrepreneurs, entertainers, athletes, political figures and social activist such as Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Eddie Murphy, Debbie Allen, Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Prince, Muhammad Ali, April Sutton, Queen Latifah, Raven Simone, Magic Johnson, President Barak Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou and Rosa Parks, to name a few.
Through his work, Jones became something of a celebrity himself. His work has been prominently featured in publications such as, Jet, Ebony, Essence, as well as national newspapers and network television shows such as VH1, MTV, BET and many others.
Jones is a solid part of African American history who has paved the way for other African American photographers to be invited to events/venues generally closed to them. His body of work and legacy became eternally embedded in American society when the board of the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture overwhelmingly voted to include 79 of Jones’ historical images as part of their collection when it opens in late 2016.
Jones’ work is also archived to serve as an educational and resource reference at the United States Library of Congress as part of their Prints and Photographs Division.
Currently, the nature of Jones estate is very complex. In lieu of flowers, the family is in need of financial assistance to help with funeral expenses. Any donation would be greatly appreciated. Please send donations to c/o Latoya Jones, 20435 Califa Street, Woodland Hills, CA. 91367.
Funeral services are pending and will be announced at a later date.