August 9, 2005: Photographer Arnout "Sonny" Hyde Jr. Dies at Age 67

Wonderful West Virginia Magazine Cover

Photographer Arnout “Sonny” Hyde Jr. died on August 9, 2005, at age 67. The Bluefield native was best known for his work with Wonderful West Virginia magazine. His stunning images have appeared in calendars, books, and magazines, including Life, National Geographic, Readers Digest, Southern Living, and National Wildlife.

Hyde became interested in photography while attending West Virginia University. In the 1960s, he was an Army photographer for three years, with his work appearing in the Stars and Stripes service newspaper. After his Army stint, Hyde went to work for the West Virginia Department of Commerce, and then the state Department of Natural Resources. At the DNR, he worked on the magazine Outdoor West Virginia, which was renamed Wonderful West Virginia in 1970. Hyde helped transform the magazine into one of the finest outdoor publications in the nation, with a circulation in the tens of thousands. He edited Wonderful West Virginia from 1982 until his retirement in 1988, and again from 1997 until his death.

“Sonny” Hyde also published five books that coupled his brilliant imagery with his love of West Virginia nature and history.