William "Bill" Biggart

William Bill Biggart
World Trade Center

'I'm With the Firemen'

They found Bill Biggart's body Saturday among the firefighters. He was a photographer, 54, born to an American Army couple in the divided city of Berlin, and it seemed to his wife, Wendy Doremus, that a thread ran through his work. Bill covered division and conflict: Howard Beach, Wounded Knee, Northern Ireland, Gaza, the gulf war. "When I saw the second plane hit, all I was hoping was that my father didn't go down; I thought, 'God, I just hope he's out sailing,' " his son William said, but by then Bill Biggart was already downtown.

Bill lived just north of Greenwich Village and he loved sailing, he loved trees. He bought people with backyards trees for their birthdays. And he spent so much time watering the trees he'd planted on Weehawken Street, near the Hudson River, that the transvestites who frequented the area were convinced he worked for Greenpeace.

During the attack, his wife called him on his cellphone to tell him it was terrorism, not an accident. "I'm O.K.," he said. "I'm with the firemen."

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 18, 2001.

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