Bill Cunningham’s photos are worth $1M (and his estate is worth $4M)


New Yorkers loved having their photograph snapped by the late Bill Cunningham, and according to a recent filing in Manhattan Surrogates Court, all that love paid off: the court documents show that rights to all of his works is a considerable $1 million.

Also revealed in the court documents is that Cunningham was worth $4 million. Shocking indeed, and especially so considering that the photographer lived in a hovel above Carnegie Hall for most of his life and ate bagel and egg sandwiches from the corner deli for most meals. This $4 million is composed of his photographs (worth $1 million) as well as his insurance policies and bank accounts.

According to Page Six, which first reported the story, Cunningham left two wills when he died in June at the age of 87. One leaves everything to his niece Patricia Simonson, while the other divides the fortune among his four nephews and one of his favorite photography subjects, a secretary named Louise Doktor. Both of them are disagreeing over which will is accurate — hence the lawsuits.  [NYP]