Ron Galella Biography

Ron Galella (b. 1931) began his photography career as a United States photographer during the Korean War from 1951 to 1955. Afterward, Galella attended the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, California, and graduated with a degree in photojournalism in 1958. It was with this photojournalism degree and his limitless spirit that Ron Galella surfaced as "the Godfather of U.S. paparazzi culture" by TIME Magazine and Vanity Fair, and "Paparazzo Extraordinaire" by Newsweek. Ron Galella's photos captured iconic celebrities of the 1970s and 80s and immortalized them in candid, out-of-the-spotlight photos. Many of these Galella photos have appeared in countless magazines and can be seen in numerous art galleries around the world. 

Ron Galella is frequently and simultaneously regarded as famous and controversial as his photographs are personified by the stories behind them. Galella's most notable work is "Windblown Jackie", a photo that captures the eternal icon Jackie Kennedy Onassis post-White House in the most natural setting of New York. He best depicts this photo stating, "It embodies all the qualities of my paparazzi approach: exclusive, unrehearsed, off-guard, spontaneous, no appointments." It's iconic photos like "Windblown Jackie" that make his work esteemed for its artistic and socio-historical value.

Over the decades, Ron Galella's photos have gained many notable mentions, adding to his list of accolades. His passion for photojournalism ultimately gave rise to his various achievements such as his highly acclaimed photo-art book, Disco Years (Powerhouse Books), which was honored as Best Photography Book of 2006 by the New York Times. When Ron Galella transitioned into moving film, his documentary Smash His Camera (2010), received the Grand Jury Award for Directing in the U.S. Documentary Category. Galella now resides in New Jersey and is still active as a photographer at cultural events such as the Met Gala.