In Memoriam: Don Sutherland, Photojournalist, Passes Away

In Memoriam: Don Sutherland, Photojournalist, Passes Away


Staten Island, NY—Donald Scott Sutherland, 66, of Stapleton, Staten Island, photojournalist for various marine and photo-imaging publications, and an avid collector of antique typewriters, cameras and magic lanterns, died at home on May 24, 2010 of cancer.

Born in Harlem in 1944, he graduated from Manhattan’s High School of Music and Art, but his passion for photography and writing was cultivated at his summer job during high school, writing for the Montgomery Ward catalog, and after graduation while working in a Manhattan camera store. 

Don Sutherland was a contributing photojournalist for Popular Photography magazine and was listed on the masthead as a contributing photographer and writer for more than 20 years. In addition, he wrote for various photo trade publications, including Photo Industry Reporter, under noms de plume.

During his more than 40-year career, most recently with Marine News, Sutherland’s work was published in Playboy, Newsweek and many professional trade publications. And, he spent the last 10 years chronicling and photographing tugboats and the U.S. workboat industry. “If tugboats had a bard it was Donald Sutherland,” said longtime friend, Mary Elizabeth Rasile Farraj. Many of Sutherland’s most recent significant works detailed the pivotal role played by the U.S. maritime industry during the 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina tragedies. Additionally, Sutherland’s passion and expertise with film and digital photography garnered him freelance positions reviewing cameras and lenses for major camera manufacturers.

After moving from Manhattan to Staten Island in 1974, Sutherland became very involved in local community activities and would hold the titles of vice president of the Mudd Lane Society, member of the board of directors of the Stapleton Local Development Corporation, and editor in chief of the North Shore Press, a local publication. He was instrumental in the landmarking and preservation of Stapleton, and his article in New York magazine was instrumental in the revitalization of interest for historically significant homes on Staten Island.

Sutherland was also a respected collector of antique typewriters and memorabilia, and he wrote a book for Panasonic called the Typewriter Legend, which chronicled the history and impact of the typewriter and its influence on the modern day computer.

A memorial service for Sutherland was held aboard the Mary T. Whalen, an antique oil tanker docked at Brooklyn’s Red Hook Pier 9B.