March 29, 2004 by

Peggy Bauer


Categories: Artists

Grace Margaret “Peggy” Reid Bauer, an award-winning wildlife and outdoor photographer, died on March 23 in an automobile accident near Sequim, Wash. She was 72.
The Chicago native attended Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and married Harry Politi. She spent seven years as a full-time wife and mother of three boys before meeting Erwin Bauer, a well-established nature photographer, in 1970. They fell madly in love with each other and divorced their spouses.
In 1972, the Bauers moved to Jackson Hole, Wyo. Peggy began learning wildlife photography and within three years, she and her husband became a professional team. For the next two decades, they traveled all over the world, taking pictures of natural environments and wildlife.
They published 51 books together, including the 2003 collections “The Alaska Highway: A Portrait of the Ultimate Road Trip” and “The Last Big Cats: An Untamed Spirit.” Their photography was featured in national and international magazines and appeared on over 300 covers.
The Bauers shared a lifetime achievement award from the North American Nature Photography Association in 2000. Erwin Bauer died last month with Peggy at his side.

6 Responses to Peggy Bauer

  1. Laura Owens

    With all due respect to the tragedy….some truth needs to come out….for those who are revered, at least let’s not mis-label them as something they were not, and she was not a “mother”.
    It might interest some to know, that my father Harry Politi, was left by Peggy Bauer, the so claimed “mother” of 3 boys had also adopted 2 girls, me (Laura) and my sister, when we were infants. The year she left us all was about 1970, when I was 5 years old. If any of you have children, imagine leaving them all, forever. Who does that?
    After her affair with Edwin, she decided that raising her children (apparently she makes no mention of her 2 girls she adopted and “raised”)and her biological 3 boys, were not as important as sowing her wildlife oats. So with all due respect, I wanted to correct the records. She was not a full-time “mother” she was biding her time until her “real life” began out in the wilderness.
    History stands corrected —
    Laura Giovanna Politi Owens

  2. Lindy Ransom

    In the summer of 1997, Peggy and Erwin Bauer saved my life. My husband and I were vacationing at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota when we picked a most inopportune day to hike the Badlands. We were inexperienced hikers and, not only had we failed to sufficiently hydrate ourselves the day(s) before the hike, we did not carry enough water with us. I was close to suffering a heat stroke when my husband and I finally made our way onto a park road. We waved down the first car that did not stop, then what seemed like the longest minutes passed when a van appeared on the road. I was sitting by the side of the road, quite weak. My face was as red as a beet. My husband waved Peggy and Erwin down; Erwin rolled down the driver side window–was a little wary for he was not quite sure what my husband wanted. But as soon as they saw me, they knew I needed help. They immediately got out of their van, went to the rear and hastily moved their expensive equipment to make room for us. Cranked up the air and gave me a refreshing can of real Coke. They drove us back to where our Jeep was, and I think they sacrificed some good shots of bison that had come into view. For the next several years, they initiated contact with us around Christmas by sending us a card with a very nice note, and invited us to visit them in WA. How I regret that I had not made a more active effort to keep in touch with them other than being on a Christmas card-basis. I’ve been keeping one of their cards in my purse for the longest time, it’s cover bearing the face of a little wolf cub framed by pine tree branches. I often told my friends about them and requested them to buy the Bauers’ works–cards, books, etc. I had been adjusting to some life changes and had lost touch with the Bauers. But tonight, in Tel Aviv, Israel (I’ve joined the US Foreign Service), I had wanted to buy their cards for Christmas, and had looked them up on the web. What a shock to learn that they are no longer with us. My husband and I are very grateful to Peggy and Erwin for coming to our assistance that hot summer day in the Badlands of North Dakota. We thank them with gratitude, and will remember them fondly. I pray that God rest their souls.

  3. Debbie Ferrell

    Erwin and Peggy Bauer’s photography is remarkable and has inspired many to become passionate about nature.
    I had the opportunity to speak and correspond with Peggy several years ago. She was an intellegent, bussiness minded woman who loved sharing her knowledge and passion for photography.
    Thank you Peggy and Erwin for sharing your view of nature with all of us.

  4. Russell Craig

    Saddened to read this news, found accidentaly while ‘surfing.’
    I used to walk Peggy from HHS to her bus in 9th grade. We dated, until Harry came into the picture.
    Troubled to learn of 5 children left by a mother; I married a mother and 3 children deserted by their father. Bad, bad, bad.

  5. Rusty Rust, Artist/Photographer

    Over the years, I had done a lot of business with the Bauer’s, especially purchasing slides of their magnificent work, which I used as reference for my paintings. They were always very helpful and generous. Although no longer with us, they will be remembered for many years.
    Rusty Rust, Artist/Photographer

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