The photo industry lost a true friend when Anthony Ruotolo passed away suddenly on June 6, 2015. Anthony was the publisher of Popular Photography and American Photo magazines, and he was active in the photo community for more than two decades.
I met Anthony more than 20 years ago when he worked at Popular Photography and I was running the advertising program at Nikon. He was creative, fun, smart, caring and always looking for new ideas to promote our industry.
Anthony was an active member on the PMDA board and was a thought leader in creating ways to keep our industry together.
To many of us, he was the ultimate salesperson. When caller ID was invented, many sales careers crashed virtually overnight. All of a sudden, you had a choice of whether to pick up the phone or not. But when Anthony’s name came up, you didn’t really have a choice. You just picked up the phone.
On the other end was this mensch. He was always looking out for his friends and clients. Wanting them to look good. Talking honestly. Joking. Providing value. Developing creative ideas that set them apart. You could always count on Anthony for the big idea.
Everyone in the room felt special around him. He had a way of bringing you in. You trusted him. You never sensed that he had an agenda. He just wanted you to look good. You loved going out to lunch or dinner with him. He was just a good guy.
Many of us were proud to call him a friend. Warm, funny. He was always the best-dressed guy in the room in his pinstriped suit. A true gentleman in every sense.
Our deepest sympathies go out to his lovely wife, Simone, and their three beautiful children, Enrico, Michael and Alessandra. Anthony was taken from us too soon, but for those of us who were lucky enough to know him, his memory will live on forever.