Beard, known for his mesmerizing images of African wildlife and landscapes, was discovered deceased in Camp Hero State Park on Long Island after being missing for three weeks.
Born in New York with striking looks and an adventurous spirit, Beard gained global recognition in the 1960s with his groundbreaking book, «The End of the Game.» This masterpiece documented the final days of colonial Africa and the plight of endangered wildlife on the continent. His iconic photographs often featured handwritten texts, at times even composed in his own blood, rendering them highly coveted prints.
While born into privilege, Beard combined his aristocratic upbringing with a warm and approachable demeanor. He enjoyed a career that encompassed photo shoots for prestigious publications like Vogue and Elle and frequent appearances at major fashion shows in Paris and New York. He was known to have married supermodel Cheryl Tiegs and claimed to have discovered another supermodel, Iman, during his travels in Africa.
Beard’s life was marked by both dissolute behavior, including a presence at Studio 54 and recreational drug use, and great danger. He famously posed lying on the ground with half of his torso inside an enormous crocodile for a photograph titled «I’ll write wherever I can…». In the 1990s, he survived a near-fatal attack by a female elephant in Kenya.
In later years, Beard became an advocate for elephant conservation and documented their deaths in Tsavo National Park. He owned a farm in Kenya and was deeply influenced by Karen Blixen, the author of «Out of Africa.»
Peter Beard was a friend to many celebrities and artists, including the Rolling Stones, Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Grace Jones, and Francis Bacon. His adventurous spirit and passion for photography made him a unique figure in the worlds of wildlife photography, fashion, and fine art.
He is survived by his wife Nejma Beard, daughter Zara Beard, and brothers Anson Jr. and Samuel.