Gjon Mili: The Man Who Shot Picasso



On the 28th of November 1904, photographer Gjon Mili was born in  Korçë, Albania. He came to the United States in 1923 at the age of 19 to study electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he met Prof. Harold Edgerton, who worked on developing electronic flash. In 1939, Mili landed a job as a freelance photographer for Life magazine where he was to work for 45 years until his death. He became famous as a lighting innovator and specialist in motion photography capturing pictures from dance shows, music gigs, sports performances and theatre but he also produced close-ups and covers for the magazine featuring powerful portraits of public and news figures he travelled worldwide to shoot, eg. Adolf Eichmann, Eisenhower, Pablo Casals etc. Mili recalled: “After graduating I took many photographs as an amateur while doing research in lighting to earn a living. It was…

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