After fleeing South Africa in the mid-1960s, photographer Ernest Cole sadly wound up living homeless on the streets of New York City. He died in 1990, at age 49, just one week after the release of Nelson Mandela from prison.
But the memory of Cole’s robust art lives on this fall thanks to an exhibit running through December 6 at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery. The courageous photojournalist was also a topic of discussion today on WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate Show. Former New York Times executive editor Joseph Lelyveld, who befriended Cole in South Africa and wrote the introduction to the photographer’s seminal 1967 book House of Bondage, reminisced about Cole’s life and work.