A Famous Pair Ride Bicycles (Almost Unnoticed) In Central Park – 1969
Maybe most people in Central Park on this Fall day did not pay any special attention to the woman riding a bicycle behind a young boy. But Ron Galella did.
The original news caption reads:
UP IN CENTRAL PARK
New York, Sept. 25 – Mrs. Aristotle Onassis and her eight-year-old son, John F. Kennedy Jr. take advantage of the nice Autumn weather to ride bicycles in New York’s Central Park. Mrs. Onassis, wife of Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, wore white slacks, a pullover and sandals for the Wednesday outing. She and John returned from Greece Saturday so John could go back to private school for the fall term. Photo: Ron Galella AP Wirephoto (1969)
At 91 years of age, Galella thinks of himself as the world’s greatest living photographer.
(UPDATE April 30 2022 – Ron Galella died of congestive heart failure in New Jersey)
Galella is considered by many to be the first modern paparazzi photographer. Galella’s reputation for ambushing celebrities and snapping away did not endear him to many of his subjects.
Galella particularly stalked Jackie Kennedy Onassis and did so relentlessly. She despised him for not respecting her privacy. Twice the former First Lady went to court to stop Galella from following her and her children, John and Caroline.
If this scene were repeated today people might notice the cycling pair. Not necessarily because of the celebrity factor.
No longer can you ride bicycles on Central Park’s pedestrian paths. Pedestrians may say something to bike riders to stop riding, but you will never see the police or park attendants enforcing the rule.