Renowned fashion editor and journalist Richard Buckley passed away Sunday from natural causes after a long illness. Buckley was surrounded by his long-time partner and husband, Tom Ford, and their son, Alexander John “Jack” Buckley Ford, at the time of his passing at their Los Angeles home. Buckley was 71.
“It is with great sadness that Tom Ford announces the death of his beloved husband of 35 years, Richard Buckley,” Ford’s company said in a release issued to the media. “Richard passed away peacefully at their home in Los Angeles last night with Tom and their son Jack by his side. He died of natural causes after a prolonged illness.”
Buckley was born in Binghampton, New York, the child of a military family, and grew up in the U.S., France, and Germany. He began his career as a fashion journalist at New York Magazine in 1979 and later worked at Women’s Wear Daily, Vanity Fair, Mirabella, and Vogue Hommes International where he was named editor in chief in 1999.
Buckley was partnered with fashion designer, screenwriter, and film director Ford for over three decades. They welcomed their son, Jack, via surrogacy in 2012. Jack will celebrate his 9th birthday on Thursday. Buckley and Ford married in 2014 in a small, private ceremony in the U.S. Both men described their first meeting as love at first sight. They had met briefly at a 1986 fashion show, but it was an elevator ride a few days later that left both men knowing they had met the person with whom they wanted to spend the rest of their lives.
Buckley & Ford cover Out's February 2011 issue.
“He was adorable, and he was a complete fool,” Ford recalled of that fateful elevator ride in a 2011 interview with Out. “He was sort of dancing around, flashing his eyes at me, and trying so hard to be charming. I decided in that elevator ride that I was going to marry him. I'm very pragmatic, and I was, like, OK, there's some kind of connection here. He ticked every box, and — boom — by the time we got to the floor, I was like, OK, sold.”
“The whole time down in the elevator I was babbling on like a schoolgirl,” Buckley recalled of that ride to Out in the same 2011 interview, admitting that he was “shamelessly flirting with this boy.”
The pair had their first real date not long after at “this really sleazy cheapo restaurant on the Upper East Side called Albuquerque Eats,” Buckley recalled. He was enthralled listening to Ford discuss his career dreams of becoming a millionaire and showing his own collections on the runways of Paris. He gave Ford the key to his apartment not long after, and the pair became inseparable.
“You can look at someone and feel like you've known him forever,” Ford told Out. “The first night I ever had drinks with Richard I felt I knew everything about him.”