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SHOCKING, Ron Galella Who Took Iconic Photo Of Elvis Presley Passes Away at 91

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Ron Galella considered the “Godfather” of the paparazzi industry and dubbed “Paparazzo Extraordinaire,” died on Saturday.

According to the New York Times, the photographer, who had feuds with celebrities including Jacqueline Onassis and Marlon Brando, died of congestive heart failure at his home in Montville, New Jersey, at the age of 91.

Geoffrey Croft, who published Galella’s most recent book 100 Iconic Photographs – A Retrospective, announced Galella’s death.

Ron Galella, called ‘Paparazzo Extraordinaire’ and the ‘Godfather’ of the paparazzi industry, passed suddenly on Saturday.

 

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According to the New York Times,

the photographer died of congestive heart failure at his home in Montville, New Jersey, at the age of 91. He has fought with celebrities such as Jacqueline Onassis and Marlon Brando.

 

Galella was born in New York City in January 1931 and began his photography career as a photographer for the United States Air Force from 1951 to 1955, including a tour in the Korean War.

 

He attended the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles after his military service and graduated with a photography degree in 1958.

In the early 1960s, he began photographing celebrities at movie premieres and selling them to journals like the National Enquirer, long before paparazzi photographers became commonplace at such events.

Galella was born in New York City in January 1931 and began his photographic career as a United States Air Force photographer from 1951 to 1955, during which time he served in the Korean War.

 

Celebrities rapidly loathed his work for photographing them without their permission, with a court in the late 1960s describing him as one of the worst, ‘two-bit chiselers and fixers.’

 

He’d lurk in bushes or parked cars, bribing doormen or limo drivers to help him get the shots he wanted.

 

Galella is well known for his relentless pursuit of Jaqueline Onassis, which resulted in a nearly ten-year legal struggle.

 

 

 

 

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Two-bit:

His work was swiftly derided by celebrities for photographing them without their permission, with a judge in the late 1960s describing him as one of the worst “two-bit chiselers and fixers” in the industry.

 

Onassis sued Galella in 1972, claiming the photographer was making her life, ‘intolerable, almost unlivable, with his constant surveillance,’ while he claimed he had the right to earn a living by taking these pictures.

 

As a result, a judge issued a restraining order prohibiting Galella from being within 25 feet of Jackie O and 30 feet of her children.

He was found guilty of violating the order four times during the next decade, and he was sentenced to seven years in prison and a fine of $120,000.

 

 

In 1972, Onassis filed a lawsuit against Galella, alleging that the photographer was making her life “intolerable, even unlivable” with his continual surveillance, while he maintained he had the right to make a profession by shooting these photographs.

 

He eventually agreed to pay a $10,000 fine and relinquish his rights to photograph Jackie and her children in exchange for a $10,000 fine.

 

Galella confesses to being ‘obsessed’ with the former First Lady in the 2010 documentary Smash His Camera (the title comes from Jackie O’s directions to a security guard).

Obsessed: In the 2010 documentary Smash His Camera (which takes its title from Jackie O’s directions to a security officer), Galella confesses to being ‘obsessed’ with the former First Lady.

 

In 1972, he was hit in the face by Marlon Brando after following him out of a New York City restaurant, and he sued the actor, who eventually settled for $40,000.

 

Galella has had squabbles with celebrities like Richard Burton, Elvis Presley’s security guards who cut his tires, and Sean Penn, who assaulted him while photographing the actor with his then-wife Madonna.

 

Despite the widespread disapproval of his tactics, his images were frequently lauded, appearing in magazines such as Time, Life, People, and The National Enquirer.

Despite the widespread disapproval of his tactics, his images were frequently lauded, appearing in magazines such as Time, Life, People, and The National Enquirer.

Andy Warhol called Galella his favorite photographer, and he published 22 books on photography. His work has been exhibited in galleries all over the world.

In 1979, he married Betty Lou Burke, a Today Is Sunday photo editor who later became his business partner until her death in 2017.

 

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