Greenburgh lost a great man this past week. John Shearer, a world famous photographer who lived in the Parkway Gardens section of Greenburgh, passed away. John, who became famous after his photo of John Kennedy Jr saluting his father at the funeral appeared in publications around the world, was an incredible photographer. The NY Times, in the obituary link that appears below, mentioned that his photo "became one of the most reproduced images of that memorable moment."
John Shearer photojournalism led to photos and images of the 1960s and 1970s civil rights marches, Black Panthers, Ku Klux Klan race riots and the funeral of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Mr. Shearer also taught at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. A children's book series about a young black detective, Billy Jo Jive became the basis of an animated feature for Sesame Street. He also photographed inmates at Attica in 1971 and documented the infamous uprising which left more than 40 people dead.
The New York Times, in the obituary, mentioned that John lived in the Parkway Gardens section of town - "one of the first towns in the area to sell homes to middle class blacks." He was learning disabled and taught himself to read by studying photography books. His work has been exhibited at prominent museums. One of his neighbors and colleagues was Greenburgh resident Gordon Parks, the first African American to work as a staff photographer for Life Magazine.
John Shearer was a modest man who made our community a better place. He will be missed, never forgotten and his memory will continue to inspire many other people. Please read the obituary below.