Baron Wolman (1937-2020)

by | Nov 3, 2020 | ASMP Foundation, ASMP Legends, Current News, Obituaries, Press Release

Author’s Note: I first met Baron Wolman on September 4, 2018 after being introduced by ASMP National Board Member Gabriella Marks. That introduction was one of the most important I have had over my lifetime. In the last 2+ years, I had the privilege to work with Baron, but more importantly, had the opportunity to get to know an incredible man who was full of life and love right to the very end of his days. I feel honored and blessed to have been part of his journey, and I wish his family, his team (especially Dianne and Blake), and his friends my most sincere condolences. Please see an official statement below. – Tom

It is with a sad heart that we announce the passing of Baron Wolman on November 2, 2020. Baron died peacefully at the age of 83, after a battle with ALS.

“Mixing business with pleasure since 1965” – This was the longtime motto of Baron Wolman, who was born in Columbus, Ohio. Baron studied philosophy at Northwestern University in Chicago, learned German at the Defense Language School in Monterey, California, then did a tour with Army military intelligence in West Berlin.

In Berlin, Wolman sold his first photo essay – pictures and text – for publication, a story about life behind the then-new Berlin Wall. From Germany, he moved to California to continue his career as a photojournalist.


Baron Wolman // © Tony Bonanno

Baron was propelled into his photography career in 1967, when he was invited to become Rolling Stone magazine’s first chief photographer. Not only was Wolman in the right place at the right time, he was recognized as a photographer whose work was inseparable from the roller-coaster social phenomena of the era.

His pictures were about the times and his artistry and unique vision landed him a wide variety of assignments from advertising and record companies, universities, government agencies, and a multitude of publications from Esquire, to Sunset, to Newsweek, to Playboy, to Vogue, to Smithsonian, to airline magazines – to name but a few.


Jimi Hendrix at the Fillmore West, Feb 1968 // © Baron Wolman – Courtesy of the Baron Wolman Archives

Baron’s subjects represented the cultural icons of the time: the building of the Berlin Wall, rock & roll, the NFL, the Goodyear Blimp, Roller Derby, American cars, Israel in flux, the changing nature of fashion, and aerial landscapes photographed while piloting his own plane. Baron’s pictures gave us a rare, comprehensive, and accurate reflection of that time executed by a gifted artist whose visual intelligence is unsurpassed.

Donations in his name can be made to ALS Association –