It is with great sadness that we report the death of AP photo editor and photographer Toru Takahashi, who was best known for his work in Tokyo and for the wealth of knowledge he shared with his colleagues. The man had reached the ripe old age of sixty-two.
According to his wife, Mieko Takahashi, Takahashi, who was being treated for lung cancer, died on Friday, just days after returning home from the hospital.
He was born in Kumamoto, Japan, and moved to Tokyo to work for the Associated Press as an editing assistant. After working with senior staff members, he was eventually given a position editing and photographing.
While on assignment and prepping his colleagues’ images for publication, Takahashi was recognized for his dry wit and meticulous attention to detail.
“Toru was the perfect professional on the (editing) desk, never took corners, always told you where and when you went wrong, but always in a kind manner,” Mark Baker, AP’s photo editor for Australia and New Zealand, said.
In the region, he has left a legacy of photographers who know how to tone and explain their photos.
Chikako Yatabe, Takahashi’s employer at the time, sent him to cover a Formula One race in central Japan, stating the Associated Press would not be sorry.
And, as promised, he proved to be a great photojournalist at many sporting events as well as general news coverage, Yatabe stated.
He covered a wide range of big international events over his 36-year tenure at the AP, including Hong Kong’s 1997 reversion to China, the 2002 South Korean presidential election, the 2000 and 2008 Olympic Games, and seven Formula One races, both as an editor and a photographer.
Aside from his work ethic, Yatabe’s coworkers admired his wit, which they attributed to his influence. “He was surrounded by laughter at all times.”
How Did Toru Takahashi Die?
Toru Takashi died after being treated for Lung Cancer. He died on Friday at the age 62