Donald William Honeyman

Obituary
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  • " Dear Gitta, This morning I just finished your book The..."
    - Barbara Clisham
  • "August 27, 2011 It is with great sadness that I learn odf..."
  • "I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Don. I was able to..."
    - Lynn Glocker
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1919 - 2011
Don Honeyman, much loved husband of Gitta, died at home in London on June 1, 2011, at the age of 91. Don is survived by his son Christopher (wife Elaine Andrews), his daughter Mandy (partner Rick Quillen), grandchildren Ian (wife Joanna Paola Honeyman) and Catherine (husband Neil Sikubwabo), and great-grandson Naim Honeyman Mushimiyimana.

While studying at the state university of Iowa for a degree in photography, Don entered a national competition, and won the grand prize – a job on Vogue, for which he worked for close to a quarter-century in New York, Paris and London. On graduation in 1940, he was initially employed as an assistant to senior photographers, including Horst and Steichen. By 1941 he was photographing celebrities and some fashion. After Pearl Harbor, Don worked as an Army combat cameraman in the South Pacific until the end of the war. He was awarded a Bronze Star for bravery. His best-known front-line footage was at the liberation of Manila in February, 1945, which was used in various documentaries including "The World at War". A two-hour documentary, "Shooting War", with an interview and featuring Don among ten selected cameramen in all theatres of the war, was shown on ABC on December 7, 2000. (For the interview he moved his famous poster of Che Guevara into the background, to provide a little color; but the producer made him take it out – 'It looks too political.')

Post-war, Don was assigned to reopen the Paris Vogue studios. In Paris he met, and in Vienna married, the writer Gitta Sereny. Later, after Vogue stints in London and New York, Don returned to the London edition, and remained in London since. Opening his own studio in 1963, Don focused on advertising, specializing in fashion, hair, cigarettes and cars. While in recent years many of his photos have been reissued in posters and notecards, his most famous image must be the solarized poster of Che Guevara, created in 1968 in a process of his own invention. He later worked with his wife Gitta on stories for the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Times magazines, and on all of her subsequent books, including "Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth" and "The German Trauma". In a dedication to one of her books, Gitta wrote: "Writers, whether men or women, need strong and selfless partners. My Don is the rock upon which my life rests."
Published on NYTimes.com from June 27 to June 28, 2011
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