Many celebrities have paid tribute to André Leon Talley since his death on Tuesday. The groundbreaking, former creative director for Vogue influenced many during his five-decade-long career in fashion and journalism.
However, it’s the tribute from an anonymous member of the public that seems to be moving people the most. It demonstrates Talley wasn’t just cherished among the rich and famous.
The New York Times ran an obituary to Talley on Wednesday. Beneath it, a reader from Massachusetts left a comment expressing her own gratitude to the late writer and editor.
Her letter said, “Mr. Talley, my son is no longer here to thank you, so I’ll do it for him.
“In the late 90’s he met you at a turning point in his life, and the few minutes you spent talking to him made an enormous impact on his future.
“A few days before meeting you he had just been accepted at the art school of his choice. But sadly also learned that he had only a few more years to live (a heart condition he was born with). He was wondering if it was even worth going to school.
“You talked to him about passion, and the longing of his soul to envision and create beauty.
“He decided to go to art school, fully realizing that the clock was ticking. His passion, creativity and happiness grew immeasurably over the next few years as he followed his dream.
“Though he only lived for a few years after graduating, those years were filled with joy, creativity and adventure.
“What more could I as a parent hope for. Though his time was short, my son got to live a little of his dream.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking a few minutes of your day to talk to a young person at the crossroads of their life.
“May your memory be eternal in the hearts of those who love you.”
The writer went by the user name of ‘Somerbridge’. Her letter provoked over 2k likes and many comments, with one calling it “heartbreaking and wonderful.”
The writer and fashion columnist Evan Ross Katz also shared it to his Instagram, saying, “Here is a reader’s comment on the NYTimes obituary for André Leon Talley. A lot to glean about the man from those that knew him best, surely, but also as much from those who barely knew him at all, but have his imprint on them forever.
Many said the posting moved them to tears: “I’m ugly crying. Wow that was profound,” said one.
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Talley, 73 made no secret of suffering from several health-related problems in recent years and battling with his weight. He died in hospital in White Plains, NY of a reported heart attack.