I first came to know Bill when I started working for him at Rangefinder magazine in 2010. Bill, along with his staff editors at Rangefinder, took a chance on me after I had been laid off in 2009 from another photo magazine.
I was grateful for the opportunity to be back in the photography world, and even more grateful to have a boss who was kind, funny, and stood up for what he believed in. A good editor, like Bill, has a vision and the drive to convince others of the editorial direction of a magazine, from cover to sending to the printers. Bill always fought for what he thought was right for Rangefinder, but he also was open to listening to his staff’s idea, and often allowed us to help with decisions or make them on our own. He cultivated talent, and gave credit were credit was due. He was a good boss, a good friend, and an even better human being.
If you don’t know Bill Hurter, he passed away this past June 11 after fighting illness for several years. He was sick when I first met him, but I always thought he’d get the better. He was a consummate nice guy, and he certainly remains to be a person who left a great impression on me. He taught me how to be humble when my ego often was out of control. He taught me how to plan for a rainy day in case something fell through. And he also taught me that being a good human being to others is the only way to live.
Everyone in the photo industry knew Bill. Not only did he shape Rangefinder for the better with other colleagues like Skip Cohen, George Varanakis, and Arlene Evans, he was also a major factor in making WPPI one of the most prestigious photo conferences in the photographic industry today.
Bill had to lay me off one morning a few months after we were purchased by another company. That must have been hard for him, but I remember him telling me that he’d miss me and that he considered me among one of his friends. It was comforting to hear that he really did care, and over the last few years we had stayed in sporadic contact where he would give me advice or a reference, or just say hi.
I will miss you Bill. R.I.P. Boss.