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Arnout ‘‘Sonny’’ Hyde Jr.


Photographer Arnout ‘‘Sonny’’ Hyde Jr. (September 7, 1937-August 9, 2005) was born in Bluefield. He was best known for his long association with Wonderful West Virginia magazine. His images of nature and people have appeared in magazines, books, and calendars throughout the U.S. and Europe. More than 500 of his photographs have been featured in national magazines, including Life, National Geographic, Readers Digest, Southern Living, and National Wildlife.

Hyde became interested in photography while he was a student at West Virginia University. In the early 1960s, upon entering the U.S. Army, he studied photography and served for three years as an Army photographer. His photographs appeared in the Army newspaper Stars and Stripes. After his Army stint, Hyde went to work for the West Virginia Department of Commerce, in the photography lab. In 1968, he transferred to the state Department of Natural Resources, where he worked on the magazine Outdoor West Virginia, which was renamed Wonderful West Virginia in 1970. Hyde edited Wonderful West Virginia from 1982 until his retirement from state government in 1988. In 1997, under a private contract, he resumed editorship of the magazine.

Hyde published five books: West Virginia; A Portrait of West Virginia; New River—A Photographic Essay; The Potomac—A Nation’s River, with text by Ken Sullivan; and West Virginia: The Land and its People, with text by his daughter Lucia K. Hyde.