Sharon J. Wohlmuth, award-winning Inquirer photographer and best-selling author, dies at 75

Sharon J. Wohlmuth, 75, a free-spirited, bighearted photographer who received a Pulitzer Prize and plenty of other awards at The Inquirer and then copublished a best-promoting sequence of poignant picture-essay textbooks, died Sunday, Feb. 13, of an undisclosed lead to at her house on Rittenhouse Sq..

Employing her instinctively sharp eye to spot placing photographs, a real curiosity in folks, an further dose of chutzpah, and an at any time-present camera, Ms. Wohlmuth fashioned a vocation in photojournalism at The Inquirer that spanned 20 yrs and led her to assignments close to the environment.

From Philadelphia’s gilded Town Corridor offices to the war-torn plains of Somalia to the chaotic streets of the collapsing Soviet Union — anyplace there was motion, beauty, or human drama — Ms. Wohlmuth despatched back photos that readers try to remember today.

She was aspect of The Inquirer workforce that received the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for its reporting on the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, and her broad array of shots — Holocaust survivors, cowboys in Oklahoma, mobsters on demo, everyday daily life in Philadelphia, the miracles of mother nature and animals, and other subjects — acquired her adoring respect from viewers and peers, and awards from a half-dozen journalism organizations.

“She understood how to capture a instant,” explained former Inquirer photographer Ron Tarver. “Somehow she could infuse factors into her photographs that you cannot educate.”

An Inquirer reader commented in 1983 about a tale on the Holocaust, composing, “Sharon Wohlmuth’s images tore at my soul.”

In 1976, Ms. Wohlmuth turned a person of the celebrated self-described Photograph Girls, four gals who have been the initial woman photographers at The Inquirer and Philadelphia Bulletin. Along with The Inquirer’s Sara Krulwich and Vicki Valerio and the Bulletin’s Barbara Pachter, Ms. Wohlmuth fashioned a team of trailblazers who remained close friends and reunited generally about the a long time.

“Sharon experienced terrific talent in capturing times that most persons never noticed,” Valerio stated. “Her vision was so diverse and so cerebral. She was a genius at capturing people today in strategies they or you by no means predicted.”

In 1994, Ms. Wohlmuth collaborated with author Carol Saline on a photograph-essay ebook named Sisters that grew to become a surprise ideal-seller, and she appeared on Tv exhibits and at book signings all-around the country. She and Saline went on to copublish Moms and Daughters in 1997 and Ideal Close friends in 1998, and her pics from the books were showcased on Television set specials, calendars, and other items. She later revealed other books, and her pictures appeared in several nationwide publications.

Reviewer Judy Bass wrote in The Inquirer in 1998 that “Wohlmuth’s casually posed pictures definitely transmit the depth of all these associations.”

Born Sharon Josolowitz on Sept. 25, 1946, in Bristol, Conn., Ms. Wohlmuth was a preferred university student in significant faculty but not a lot interested in teachers, and just one guidance counselor told her she would most likely make a wonderful housewife and mother. She spent some time at a junior school just after graduation but left just after failing to master shorthand to consider a work with a travel company.

She fulfilled Ed Wohlmuth at a travel brokers conference in Hartford, and they married in 1966. His spouse and children owned a vacation company in Philadelphia, so they headed south and lived jointly till they divorced in 1974. He died earlier.

Ms. Wohlmuth, whose father was an avid novice photographer, enrolled at the Moore Faculty of Art and Structure in 1972 and immersed herself in photography. She experienced created this kind of an outstanding portfolio just a several months immediately after she graduated that photograph editor Gary Haynes available her a task at The Inquirer.

“She was so energized when she bought that work,” mentioned her brother, Gary Joslow. “I believe it was her individuality that performed a big section in that.”

“She would not be intimidated by any individual,” mentioned Clem Murray, a previous Inquirer photographer and director of images. “She could communicate her way into any condition and make people sense at ease.”

Ms. Wohlmuth married Larry Trainer, a publisher, painter, and entrepreneur, in 1991, and they lived on Rittenhouse Square till his death in 2014.

In 2012, Ms. Wohlmuth explained to ADDitude Magazine that she was identified with focus deficit hyperactivity dysfunction in 1994. She responded by getting medicine and talking out to some others about the condition.

“It gave me a specified spontaneity, a perception of adventure and risk,” she instructed the journal. “On my tombstone it will say, ‘Wait, I’m not all set I’m nevertheless arranging.’”

“She just liked pictures and people.”

Gary Joslow, Ms. Wolhmuth’s brother

She taught photojournalism courses at Philadelphia College of Artwork, now the University of the Arts, and was acknowledged at The Inquirer for owning a single of the messiest desks in the developing. She did not like to photograph sporting activities and, when assigned to a significant faculty basketball recreation, captioned 1 action photo with the sentence “Man shoots basketball.”

Away from perform, Ms. Wohlmuth favored to ski and unwind in Important West, Fla., and the Jersey Shore. She looked immediately after her ailing mother, enjoyed taking other relatives users on day journeys to New York, and doted on her cats.

“If there was an Inquirer Hall of Fame,” a previous team photographer wrote in a tribute, “Sharon would be a initial ballot, unanimous inductee.”

In addition to her brother, Ms. Wohlmuth is survived by her sister, Beth, and other kin.

Products and services were being Thursday, Feb.17.

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