Richard R. Hewett

( 1929 - 2006 )

Richard Hewett is a photojournalist known for both his magazine work and as an illustrator of children’s books. In the heyday of the big magazines Hewett’s work appeared regularly in TV Guide, Look, Life, This Week, Argosy and Playboy. In 1978 he illustrated his first children’s book. He subsequently photo illustrated more than 50 books, most with children’s book writer Caroline Arnold and others with his wife, children’s book writer Joan Hewett. Richard Ridgley Hewett grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota. His father and grandfather were engineers who designed many bridges in the area. Richard’s parents, Maurice and Jessie Lee, a nurse, met in France during World War I when Captain Hewett was brought into the hospital where she was serving. Richard became interested in photography at any early age. When he was thirteen his father built a darkroom for him in the basement of their St. Paul home. At sixteen years of age, he was determined to study photography at Art Center School of Design in California. His father signed consent papers that enabled Richard to enlist in the Marines and become eligible for the G.I. Bill. After a four year stint in the Marine Corps and a year at Macalester College in Minnesota, Hewett entered Art Center, class of ’52. After graduating, he lived in a rented darkroom behind an old Hollywood bungalow and worked nights developing film at Ciro’s, a Sunset Strip nightclub. By day, he was shooting for various magazines. By the late 1950s Hewett was an established free-lance photojournalist. Richard and Joan Hewett were married in 1960. For most of their married lives they lived in Eagle Rock, a section of Los Angeles. They have 2 adult children: Angela Lee Hewett and Christopher Ridgley Hewett and 3 grandchildren: Orson, Jess and Nathan. Richard worked until 2001.

See all photos by Richard R. Hewett