International photo-journalist Peter Borsari died Monday, May 29 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He was 67.
He had undergone knee surgery two days earlier having had successful surgery on the other knee a year ago. .His death was unexpected, report his business associate and fellow photographer, Laura Luongo, as well as his assistant of 13 years Dana Baker and his former wife, Monica Borsari-Nathan with whom he had maintained close friendship despite their divorce 20 years ago. An invitational memorial is being planned for June 10 in Hollywood. His brothers Eugene and Ricardo are winging in from Zurich, Switzerland, the family’s home town where his ashes will be interred.
Borsari gained fame as a celebrity and event photographer as well as a newsphoto journalist having started his career as an economy major in college. He segued into the celeb world with his camera. Alan Berliner, CEO of Berliner Photography and Services, told me, “I learned a lot from Peter — one thing in particular — when to keep your mouth shut. We became fast friends. I always respected him. He was a stand-up guy.”
Borsari’s company will continue to supply photos from his file of over two million images, “and we will keep the business running,” says Baker. The subjects include Presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George Bush; royalty Princes Charles and Andrews, Sarah Ferguson; Hollywood royalty Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis Presley and Johnny Carson. Celebs chose him to lense their weddings: Robert Wagner to Natalie Wood, Harry Hamlin and Nicolette Sheridan. He lensed events for studios and charity orgs. Borsari didn’t have to hide to take his pictures. He was invited. “He had class,” Berliner reminded.