Herbert Keppler, one of the most influential and respected figures in the post-war photographic industry, died on Friday night after a short illness at the age of 82. Keppler, known as Burt to friends and associates, was the former publisher of two of the biggest photography magazines in the world; Modern Photography and Popular Photography, and continued to work until just before his death. In a career spanning more than 50 years Herbert Keppler was instrumental in the success of the Japanese camera industry and in establishing objective laboratory testing for cameras and lenses.
He was also responsible for 'cleaning up' the shady practices in American mail order retailing with the establishment of a Mail Order Coder of Ethics, and received numerous awards and titles, including one of the highest awards to be bestowed on a foreigner by the Emperor of Japan for his contribution to the development of the Japanese camera industry, which included numerous visits to offer his advice to manufacturers. He was elected to the Photo Marketing Hall of Fame in 1985 and received the Photographic Manufacturers and Distributors Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.
We only met Mr Keppler a few times, but we enjoyed our conversations with him immensely, and found him to be a warm, generous person with a genuine passion for photography and the photographic industry and a wealth of knowledge and experience. His passing is a real loss for the photographic community.
Photo: Popular Photography