It is with great sadness and that we can confirm what so many of our customers have called us to ask: Major Richard “Dick” Winters has passed away.

The beloved commander of the “Band of Brothers,” Dick suffered in recent years from Parkinson’s disease. He succumbed on January 2, 2011. His family conducted private burial services but will hopefully hold a memorial service for the public in the future.

Of the hundreds of veterans who have supported our work, Dick was the biggest brother, our patron, the man who made Valor Studios. The news of his passing was hard to believe. Today, our close friend, author Larry Alexander, visited Winters’ grave plot and confirmed the truth; there were flowers around his headstone.

Dick’s troopers who knew him in war praise him for his compassion and selflessness. And, to us, no man was more true to this reputation. He and his wife Ethel had a soft spot for our company, a sense of compassion for a young business run by young people trying to keep history alive. And, so ours became the only commercial entity in the world that Dick Winters supported.

I say “supported” because he didn’t need the money we paid him; he donated it to the United Way. He didn’t need the honor that came from being the subject of our paintings and art prints; he already was the subjects of books and a TV series. His autograph was among the rarest and most valuable in the world because he had a strict, “no commercialization” policy.

But, he also had a selfless desire to see Valor Studios, then a small fledgling company, succeed. Maybe because we were young. Maybe because we were entrepreneurs like him. Maybe because he sensed that our work had a higher calling. But, he made us his exception.

Dick Winters signed maybe 1,500 items in all, our “We Were a Band of Brothers” prints, “Silencing the Guns,” “Night of Nights,” and “The Eagles Nest,” turning fine art prints into priceless treasures.

Why we became his only exception, we never asked him. But, many times before this sad week, we’ve thanked God for Dick Winters—that our country had men like him 65 years ago—and that he came into our lives to lift us up, with an outstretched hand.

- Adam Makos, Publisher

Dick Winters