Mona Hinton, the widow of bassist and photographer Milt Hinton (who passed away in 2000), died on May 3 at North Shore Hospital on Long Island after a long illness. She had been living at the Hinton family residence on Milt Hinton Place Queens, NY.
The Hintons met at Milt’s grandmother’s funeral in 1939 and remained together for 61 years. Mona traveled extensively with Milt throughout his career, often helping out by keeping the books and making travel arrangements. In 1958, Mona took the home movie footage (the only movie in existence) of the Esquire Magazine photo shoot on a Harlem brownstone stoop that was memorialized in Jean Bach’s film, A Great Day in Harlem.
Mona Clayton Hinton was born in Centralia, Ill., in 1919, the sixth of eight children. Her family moved from Mississippi to Ohio, and after completing high school there she moved to Chicago and attended Poro College, a cosmetology school run by early African American entrepreneur Madam Annie Malone. She later returned to school in the ’70s, earning bachelor and masters degrees at Queens College. She taught at several Queens elementary schools, but gave up full-time work to accompany her husband in his travels.