- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 13, 2006

ANNAPOLIS (AP) — Marion E. Warren, a photographer known as “the Ansel Adams of the Chesapeake” who captured images of the Bay for more than 50 years, died Sept. 8 at Anne Arundel Medical Center after a long battle with cancer. He was 86.

Mr. Warren died less than a week before he was going to put on an exhibit in Annapolis.

“If it hadn’t been for Marion, a lot of what we know visually about oystering, about crabbing, about life on the Bay, would be lost,” said longtime state archivist Edward Papenfuse, a close friend who manages Mr. Warren’s collection of 100,000 photos.

One of Mr. Warren’s most famous photographs was an image of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the moonlight just after the first span opened in 1952.

Mr. Warren was born in Wheat Basin, Mont. He moved to Missouri with his father as a young boy, after his mother and twin brother died.

At age 12, he moved in with an aunt in St. Louis, where he bought his first camera, an Argus, for $12.50. After he graduated from high school, he enrolled in photography classes at Washington University.

He came east after he was drafted into the Navy during World War II and was assigned to a photography unit in Washington. There he met Mary Giblin, who was a Navy WAVE, and the couple married in 1943.

The Warrens moved to Annapolis four years later and opened a portrait and commercial studio in their basement. He took photos for various magazines and architecture firms, and served as the official photographer for the state when Theodore R. McKeldin was governor.

His photography of the Bay and its culture resulted in 1994’s “Bringing Back the Bay,” a collection of black-and-white photographs that is part coffee-table retrospective and part testimonial.

It was, his daughter and co-author Mame Warren said, “a total act of love,” spurred on by his fear that future generations would never see the Chesapeake Bay he had known.

In his last decade, Mr. Warren remained focused on the Bay, even through the 2003 death of his wife and health problems of his own.

In 1997, he nearly died of colon cancer. In 2002, he was found to have cancer of the larynx, which was removed. He grew a beard to cover the stoma and continued working.

In 2004, he was hospitalized again, this time with lung cancer.

In addition to his daughter, who lives in Baltimore, survivors include another daughter, Nancy Warren Atkinson of Pocomoke, Md., and a son, Paul Donald Warren of Redington Beach, Fla.

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