A personal note from Howard Greenberg:
My friend — our friend — Saul Leiter passed away just a few days before his 90th birthday. The moment was gentle, merciful. He was surrounded by close friends, as he was in life. Saul touched us deeply. He was a “one and only.” You couldn’t be involved with his art and not be involved with the person. You fell in love with both, quickly and effortlessly. He inspired, made you a part of his world. You listened, you laughed. At times, you might try to differ with him but that didn’t work. He charmed you.
Saul blessed our gallery with his presence. He brought a smile to our faces with each appearance. He made us feel happy and fortunate, especially when he held court in the kitchen. We were family in the best of the word.
Saul never wanted fame or fortune. When he began to receive both, he had no idea what to do with it. He was content in his physically small world; his apartment to paint, his streets to roam and photograph. His ambition in life was to have one small book and perhaps, when he was gone, his work would be noticed and bring some pleasure to a few. Hard to imagine, but that was it—Saul wanted nothing more.
Of course, he will be missed. Personally, I can’t think of anyone I enjoyed being with more. These memories will not fade. With certainty, his legacy, the gift of his art, will last and the legions of believers will grow. His accomplishment, while perfectly summed up in “one small book,” will fill volumes. Saul will be with us, always.