Michelantonio Celestino Onofrio Vaccaro (born December 20, 1922), better known as Tony Vaccaro or Michael A. Vaccaro, is an American photographer who is best known for his photos taken in Europe during 1944 and 1945 and in Germany immediately after World War II. After the war, he became a renowned fashion and lifestyle photographer for U.S. magazines.
Photographer, infantryman, philosopher, author, and friend - it's impossible to describe this eloquent man in a few words. He was assigned to the Intel Platoon of the 2nd Battalion, 331st Reg, 83rd Inf Division and shot photos from Normandy to Berlin. Not snapshots, but thoughtful often-melancholy scenes. The producers of the WWII documentary film "Saving Fela" (which is using his work) say it better than I can:
"Tony Vaccaro is widely regarded as having generated the greatest single collection of WWII photographs by any one person. He achieved this not by being a member of the Signal Corps, but by being a young private in the 83rd Infantry Division, carrying a gun in one hand and a camera in the other. Through the lens of his Argus C-3, Tony captured the experience of the war from Normandy to Berlin, and during the German occupation after the war, like no other photographer. In the aftermath of the war, Tony stayed on in Germany as a photographer for "Stars and Stripes" until 1949, covering the crucial, historic period in which the country emerged from chaos to reconstruction.
Upon returning home from the war, Tony became a highly influential photographer for Look, Life, and Flair magazines, capturing candid and revealing portraits of numerous cultural icons that shaped the second half of the twentieth century."
Tony has received numerous distinctions, including the French Legion d'honneur. His monumental work continues to be exhibited around the world. He was also recently featured in BBC’s six-part series, "Genius of Photography."
His photographic career was launched with a baptism of fire in the battlefields of WWII.