Cross died February 28, 2010 of heart failure, following a fall at his home in Sanibel, Fla.
Cross pursued many passions over his 86 years: He was a real estate lawyer, a publisher, a White House adviser and a leading spokesman for black economic development. He most known for his love of photographing waterbirds – something he didn’t discover until he was in his 40s.
“I was totally ignorant of birds, then — whammo — 20 years later they became a very important part of my life,” Cross said in the NPR interview. “Except for family and friends, there’s few things I care more about than these seabirds.”
His favorite bird was a Reddish Egret.