Republished with permission from Our Weekly
By Jason Lewis
For over 15 years, Sports Photographer, Eric Wade represented the Black Voice News/Voice at numerous events capturing the action through the lens of his camera. With his great eye for photography Wade documented many national sporting events. Wade passed away suddenly on Sunday morning apparently from a severe asthma attack at the age of 47, his family announced.
Wade photographed USC’s football game this past Saturday afternoon, and reportedly had chest pains at the conclusion of the contest. His brother Steven Wade said that Eric had dealt with asthma issues since childhood, and that it was not out of the norm for him to go to the hospital for treatment. Steven last spoke to his brother on Sunday morning around 1:30 a.m., while Eric was editing photos from the game.
Wade was a well-known figure in sports media; spending many evenings on high school football fields and basketball courts, and he was at nearly every major sporting event in Los Angeles. He covered both UCLA and USC football and basketball games, as well as the Lakers, Clippers, and Sparks.
Wade worked for various publications in Los Angeles, including the Herald-Examiner now defunct, and the Los Angeles Sentinel, and he showcased people at their very best.
“He liked to be really helpful to everybody in the community,” Steven said. “He wanted to bring out the best in people.”
Wade attended St. Bernard High School in Playa Del Rey before moving on to study art at Otis College of Art and Design. He was a painter, and he also picked up the skill of photography, which he combined with his passion for sports. Within sports media circles, his talents were well respected, as well as of how great of a person he was.
“Eric was a great photographer who was comfortable in any setting from high school to college to pros to friends and private events,” said Evan Burns, Daily Breeze writer. “But most of all, he was a dear friend who always encouraged me and was always down to talk whenever. He was like family and his smile made you feel at home.”
“In an ultra competitive business where so many people are out for themselves, Eric wasn’t like that,” said Rahshaun Haylock, FOX Sports writer. “As a young journalist, cutting my teeth, he took me under his wing. He reached out to me, unsolicited, and helped instill a confidence in me that continues to go a long way in my development.”
Wade also reached out to people on a personal level.
“The cat was just first class all the way,” said Jaye Johnson, sports photographer. “He knew I lost my two younger brothers and he said to me, ‘no worries you got a brother in me.’”
Wade was also very well known in the entertainment industry, regularly covering the Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, BET Awards, as well as other major entertainment events. Many A-list celebrities recognized him as they walked the red carpet and his good nature drew people in.
“His personality was vibrant,” said Francis Perdue, publicist. “He loved being around people. He loved shooting them, and showing them how beautiful they were. Whether they were a child on the field or an A-list celebrity.”