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Ron Galella, paparazzo extraordinaire (PART 1/3)

10/17/2011 ISO 1200 Magazine 0 Comments

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Ron Galella (born January 10, 1931) is an American photographer, known as a pioneer paparazzo. Dubbed "Paparazzo Extraordinaire" by Newsweek and "the Godfather of the U.S. paparazzi culture" by Time Magazine and Vanity Fair, he is regarded as the most controversial celebrity photographer in the world.
Galella's photographs can be seen in hundreds of publications including Time, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Vanity Fair, People, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, The New York Times and Life. He is widely-known for his obsessive treatment of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and the subsequent legal battles associated with it. The New York Post called them "the most co-dependent celeb-paparazzi relationships ever." In the famous 1972 free-speech trial Galella v. Onassis, she obtained a restraining order to keep Galella 150 feet away from her and her children.

Galella is willing to take great risks to get the perfect shot. In his in-home darkroom, Galella makes his own prints which have been exhibited at museums and galleries throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in both New York and San Francisco, the Tate Modern in London, and the Helmut Newton Foundation Museum of Photography in Berlin.

On June 12, 1973, notoriously-reclusive actor Marlon Brando punched Galella in the face without warning outside a restaurant in Chinatown in New York City, breaking the photographer's jaw and knocking out five of his teeth on the left-side of his mouth. Galella had pursued Brando, who was accompanied by Dick Cavett, to the restaurant after a taping of The Dick Cavett Show earlier that day. Galella hired Stuart Schlesinger to sue Brando and ultimately settled for $40,000. Schlesinger reported in Smash His Camera that Galella received two-thirds, but only cared about getting the message out, "I don't want anyone to think they can go around punching me if I am taking their picture, get that story out not the money."

A Bronx native, Galella served as a United States Air Force photographer during the Korean War and attended the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, California, graduating with a degree in Photojournalism in 1958. He currently lives in Montville, New Jersey with his wife Betty Burke Galella.
Galella is the subject of a 2010 documentary film directed by Leon Gast entitled Smash His Camera.
( via Wikipedia)

website: | Photo-gallery: here | Twitter: @rongalella

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