Tony Vaccaro made a name for himself with the intimate photos he took as a soldier during WWII, and went on to photograph the likes of O’Keeffe, Picasso and Kennedy. Now, he’s organizing and preserving his life’s work.
Tony Vaccaro was one of the only Americans to photograph World War II as an infantryman, rather than a hired photojournalist. With unprecedented access, he captured some of the war’s most intimate photos, developing his negatives in soldiers’ helmets at night. After the war ended, he showed his combat portfolio to editors at magazines including Look, LIFE and Flair, and became a celebrated magazine photographer. He photographed great people — people whom he says gave something back to man kind. His celebrity subjects include cultural icons such as John F. Kennedy, Picasso and Sophia Loren.
Now, Vaccaro is 93-years-old and lives in Long Island City, Queens. He spends his days at his new studio, archiving photos with his son, Frank; telling stories from his past to guests at Manducatis Rustica, a local, Italian restaurant where a collection of his work hangs; and spending time with his twin, baby grandsons, for whom he hopes to leave a legacy.
Vaccaro has accumulated dozens of stories about the people he’s met through the years, but Vaccaro’s best story, is, in fact, his own.
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