Wild: The Life of Peter Beard by Graham Boynton

 Photographer, Adventurer, Lover

He was the original 20th century “enfant terrible” with the looks of a Greek god who blazed like a comet across the worlds of art, photography, and fame. 

The scion of several old WASP fortunes, he was by instinct an adventurer, and the more dangerous the escapade, the better: whether he was hunting big game in Africa, ingesting epic quantities of drugs, or pursuing the most beautiful women in the world. 

Among his friends were Jackie Onassis, Andy Warhol, and Francis Bacon. When Peter Beard died in 2020 after mysteriously disappearing from his Montauk home, he remained an enigma to even his closest friends.


“As many have observed about Beard’s art, it was inextricably linked to his life. In fact, his art was his life and vice versa.”

Spanning decades and continents, this was an engaging read that revealed the nature loving, wild at heart, free spirited and enigmatic character that Peter Beard truly was. 

Wild is an accomplished biography covering Beard’s early life and upbringing in a wealthy family, his middle years globetrotting surrounded by the likes of Andy Warhol and Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, and later in life where the photographer continued to push the boundaries at home and in his work. 

I’d be remiss not to mention the remarkable research of Graham Boynton whose writing will stand as an accompaniment to Beard’s work for years to come.

Photo Credit: Håkan Ludwigson

Graham Boynton was raised in Bulawayo, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and later emigrated to South Africa, where he attended Natal University and worked as a journalist. In 1975, he was expelled from South Africa because of his opposition to apartheid. He worked for many years as a journalist in London before translocating to New York where he worked for a decade for Condé Nast as a writer and editor. Since 1998 he has lived in London working as an author and newspaper and magazine journalist. He is the author of The Last Days in Cloud Cuckooland.

Wild: The Life of Peter Beard: Photographer, Adventurer, Lover is available for purchase in hardcover or audiobook format. Check IndieBound for a retailer near you.