The Life, Death, and Legacy of Wynn Bruce


Wynn Bruce was an incredible activist, Buddhist, photojournalist, and son. So when on April 22, 2022, news outlets announced that he had died after setting himself on fire on the steps of the Supreme Court building as a protest against the current state of the climate, it was a horrific moment in history. Bruce had tried to get his message across to the public for years before this horrible incident. He was a strong believer in standing up for the environment and the health of the planet. While it’s still debated whether or not this was an act of rebellion against the system causing climate change or simply just a dramatic act of suicide, it’s clear that Wynn Bruce cared deeply about his cause.

Bruce’s life was filled with pain and passion. At age 18, Bruce was in a car crash that completely derailed his life plans of joining the military. The near-fatal crash caused Bruce months to recover both physically and emotionally. One of his best friends, who was driving the car, unfortunately passed in this tragic accident. Bruce’s previously athletic lifestyle was cut short due to a brain injury that slowed his ability to learn and do new things. His life completely changed. He eventually started his own photography studio where he took candid-style portraits to try and bring some meaning into his life. His goal in life was always to help other people, whether it was by being a productive person or making people happy.

In the year 2000, he found a group of people that changed his life for the better. He began living in a Buddhist community and focused on his newfound passion for this religion. This religion was his way of connecting to other people. He also began spending lots of time in nature. This gave him a deep sense of connection to the world, and he started spending lots of time learning about climate change. While he was happy to learn about these problems, he also became depressed over the worsening state of the world. He talked to many people about his concerns for the environment and did what he could to bring awareness to the issue. However, people said they never expected him to end his life with such a shocking statement. His community states that they would’ve done anything they could to stop Bruce if they knew of his plans.

Everyone who knew Bruce says that he had the most passion and the biggest heart. He cared deeply about everyone and everything around him. Based on his desire to impact people, he knew the way he had to end his life was through a dramatic statement. In order to honor his death, it’s our job to remember Wynn Bruce and the sacrifices he made to bring light to this horrible issue of climate change.