James Dean, © Phil Stern (Los Angeles, 1955)
Phil Stern (b. 1919, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Stern’s photo career began at 18, when he worked by day in a NYC photo studio as an apprentice and by night as a photographer for the Police Gazette. In 1941 he settled in Los Angeles and freelanced for LIFE, LOOK, Colliers, and other magazines. In 1942 he was assigned by the US Army to a photographic unit in London, and was wounded in North Africa. In the 1940s he covered post war stories for LIFE, and until the 1980s went on to serve as a “special” still cameraman on numerous feature film sets including “West Side Story” and “Judgment of Nuremberg”, and covered Hollywood’s many film locations in Europe, Africa, and South America, and photographed the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow. Stern’s images of Marilyn Monroe and James Dean have become widely recognized icons.