Blue Earth
Glazer's Camera

Erwin Bauer, 1919-2004; and Peggy Bauer, 1932-2004


The nature photography community lost two of its most prominent role models earlier this year. In February, venerable nature photographer Erwin Bauer died of bone marrow cancer at his home in Sequim, Wash. Erwin's death was followed a month later by that of his wife and artistic partner, Peggy, who was killed in a car accident on March 23.

Following his graduation from the University of Cincinnati, Erwin served in World War II, for which he was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Purple Heart, and the Korean War.

After resuming his photographic career, he wrote more than 50 books, most with Peggy, on wildlife and the outdoors. During his 84 years, he traveled to many of the world's far corners, photographing and writing about his adventures, and bringing global attention to the plight of endangered species.

Peggy, a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, met Erwin in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1970, when each was married to someone else. Following their divorces, they moved back to the United States, settling in Jackson Hole, Wyo., for many years. Although Peggy had no prior photographic experience, she began acting as Erwin's assistant, gradually becoming a respected photographer in her own right.

As a team, the Bauers traveled and published but also led tours, introducing photography enthusiasts and environmentalists to their favorite destinations. In 2000, they shared a Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Nature Photography Association. Both were charter members of NANPA, and Erwin received the group's Fellow Award in 1998.