Bill Cunningham Bio, Age, Family, Wife, Children and Net Worth

This article will answer every question you have about Bill Cunningham. Below are some of the frequently asked questions about him.

  1. What does Bill Cunninghamdo for a living?
  2. Who are Bill Cunningham’s parents and siblings?
  3. What are Bill Cunningham’s interests and hobbies?
  4. Is Bill Cunningham married or does he have a Girlfriend?
  5. Does Bill Cunningham have any children?
  6. Where is Bill Cunningham now?
  7. How tall is Bill Cunningham?
  8. How much money does Bill Cunningham earn?
  9. What is Bill Cunningham’s net worth?

N/B: Please read the entire post to have all your questions answered.

Who is Bill Cunningham?

Bill Cunningham (William John Cunningham Jr.) was American New York Times fashion photographer. Bill was known for his street and candid photography. Cunningham dropped out from Harvard University and became a women’s hat designer. Later he started writing articles about fashion for the Chicago Tribune and Women’s Wear Daily.

He started his photography career in the New York City streets taking candid photographs. His career in photography caught the New York Times’ attention with the capture of Greta Garbo in an unguarded moment in 1978. From 1978 t0 2016, Bill was reporting for the paper.

Bill’s first exposure to the fashion world was in Bonwit Teller’s Boston Store as a stockboy. He said he developed his passion for fashion as a young boy admiring women’s hats in church. Bill was admitted to a hospital in 2016 suffering from a stroke where he later met his demise.

A photo of Bill Cunningham

A photo of Bill Cunningham

How old is Bill Cunningham?

Cunningham was born in Boston on 13th March 1929. He died at an old age of 87 years in 2016. Bill shared his birthday with celebrities like Jordyn Jones, Nick Bean, Jack Harlow, Daniel Peter Masterson, Dana Delany, Emile Hirsch, among others.

Bill Cunningham Family

Who are Bill Cunningham’s Parents?

Bill was born to Marion and William Cunningham, an Irish Catholic family who lived in Boston. He had religious parents who improvised corporal punishment to discipline their children. However, Cunningham has not disclosed much information regarding his parents.

Does Bill Cunningham Have Siblings?

Bill was raised in a family of four siblings. He had a younger brother and two sisters. However, there is no disclosed information regarding his siblings.

Bill Cunningham Education

Cunningham was raised in Boston and was given a scholarship to Harvard University. He did not pursue his education for long and dropped out in 1948 after two months of study in the university.

Bill Cunningham Wife

On his love life matters, Cunningham is seen as a person who hates drama and loves his privacy. Bill has managed to keep his marriage life low-key and leaving many with a lot of unanswered questions. In case there is any news regarding this matter, we shall update it here as soon as possible.

Does Bill Cunningham Have Children?

Cunningham’s secrecy in his private life has shown up. There is no information regarding him having children. In case we come across that information we will soon update you here.

How Tall is Bill Cunningham?

Bill was known to be a well-built man but his height is not available at the moment.

Bill Cunningham Career

Cunningham began working at an age of 19 years in New York City. He worked for Bonwit Teller, serving in the advertising department. He later resigned from the job and started making hats under the name William J. During the Korean War, Bill was drafted and stationed in France. This is where he had exposure to French fashion. Cunningham returned to New York in 1953 working as a milliner.

Bill served the Chez Ninon in the 1950s a salon that made design duplicates by Givenchy, Chanel, and Dior. Some of his memorable clients were Jacqueline Bouvier, Katharine Hepburn, Rebekah Harkness, and Marilyn Monroe.
Cunningham was a significant contributor to fashion journalism. He introduced the American audience to Jean Paul Gaultier and Azzedine Alaïa.

Candid Fashion photographs

Bill began taking candid Fashion photographs while still working for the Chicago Tribune and Women’s Wear Daily. He never attended photography school although he was an expert.

In December 1978, Bill published a group of impromptu pictures in the New York Times. The pictures soon became the series On the Street. Cunningham pioneered the paper’s coverage of the gay community. In 1979, he photographed a fundraising event in the Fire Island Pines. During his photographing session, Bill allowed interruption by the perceptive leader without verbal clues. Cunningham, in the 1990s, integrated AIDS benefits, Wigstock, and pride parades into his coverage.

Cunningham attended high society events for his society fashion column Evening Hours. They include the prestigious International Debutante Ball held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Bill captured passing scenes and people in the streets of Manhattan for columns of On the Street. He focused mostly on clothing as a personal expression. Bill preferred genuine personal style to celebrity avoiding photographing people as paparazzi do.

Cunningham’s fashion philosophy was populist and democratic. It stated: Fashion is as vital and as interesting today as ever. I know what people with a more formal attitude mean when they say they’re horrified by what they see on the street. But fashion is doing its job. It’s mirroring exactly our times.

Bill’s Publications

In March 1985, Bill published photo essays in Details and wrote Fashion criticism. He began with six pages its first issue. Bill partly owned the all-time magazine. His work in the all-time magazine included an essay illustrating the similarities between Isaac Mizrahi and Geoffrey Beene’s design works. Bill was the first to make the application of the word deconstructionism to fashion in 1989 in an essay in Details.

From 26th February 1989, most of Bill’s notable columns in the Evening Hours, Times, and On the Street ran in the paper until few days before his death in 2016.

Bill was the only invited media member to the 100th birthday party of Brooke Astor, according to David Rockefeller.

Cunningham made a collection of vintage fashions starting from 1968 for a period of eight years. He additionally photographed Editta Sherman using significant Manhanttan buildings in vintage costumes. Bill published a collection of 128 photographs, Facades in 1978.

Bill Cunningham Exhibitions

In the 1977 exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Technology, a selection of photos from the Bill’s Facades Project series was shown. In 2014, at the New-York Historical Society, the Facades series received a full exhibition. The Society additionally holds 91 silver gelatin silver prints from the Facades series. The series was donated by Bill in their permanent caption.

The Savannah College of Art and Design FASH Museum of Fashion + Film presented an exhibition of Bill’s images of the 1973 Battle of Versailles fashion show, “Grand Divertissement à Versailles, Vintage Photographs by Bill Cunningham,” in 2016.

Bill Cunningham Honors and Awards

Cunningham was named the outstanding photographer of the year in 1983 by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. In 2008, Bill was awarded by the French Ministry of Culture, the Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres Award. The New York Landmarks Conservancy named Bill a “living landmark” in 2009. Bill received the Carnegie Hall Medal of Excellence in 2012.

Bill’s Personal philosophy

Cunningham had a personal philosophy that read “You see, if you don’t take money, they can’t tell you what to do, kid.” He additionally said “Money is the cheapest thing. Liberty is the most expensive.” Bill described his own philosophy about fashion in the Bill Cunningham New York documentary film.

Although Cunningham was a regular contributor to the New York Times since the 1970s, he remained unemployed until 1994. Bill had his own personal signature. Additionally, he dressed in a unique way, dressing in a uniform of black sneakers and a blue moleskin workman’s jacket. He traveled by bicycle replacing the damaged or stolen ones.

Cunningham in the Media

Philip Gefter, author of The New York Times and filmmaker Richard Press produced a documentary, Bill Cunningham New York, in 2010. The movie was launched on 16th March 2011. The film was acquired by the Film Department of the Museum of Modern Art for its permanent collection in 2013.

Mark Bozek displayed a documentary, The Times of Bill Cunningham in the Spotlight on Documentary slot of the New York Film Festival in 2018.

Bill Cunningham’s Death and legacy

Cunningham met his demise on 25th June 2016 at the age of 87. He died after fighting a stroke. Bill’s Demise was widely reported both in the general press and fashion. After his demise, a memorializing display was created by the Bergdorf Goodman department store in his memory.

There were thousands of signed online petitions requesting the corner of 5th Avenue and 57th Street in New York City be renamed “Bill Cunningham Corner”. A private Requiem Mass was celebrated at Manhattan’s Church of St Thomas More, by parish priest Father Kevin Madigan.

Bill left behind an autobiography manuscript, Fashion Climbing, discovered by his family in his archives after his demise. In September 2018, Penguin Press acquired the book at auction with critic Hilton Als contributing the preface.

Bill Cunningham Net Worth

Cunningham had a net worth of about $4 million in August 2016. This is according to The Post.