John Dominis Southern Pacific Steam Engine, Donner Pass, California
Medium Silver print
Photo Date 1949 Print Date 2006
Dimensions 20 x 24 in. (508 x 610 mm)
Photo Country United States (USA)
Photographer Country United States (USA)
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Signed on recto, lower right margin. titled on verso.
John Dominis was a LIFE staff photographer from 1950-1972. He was born in Los Angeles in 1921 and studied photography at Freemont High School under C.A. Bach, who had eight other students also join LIFE. After studying at USC and spending time in the Air Force, he freelanced for the Saturday Evening Post, Colliers and LIFE, working for Magnum. He volunteered to cover the Korean War and was put on LIFE's staff. He worked out of LIFE offices in Dallas, Chicago, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Among his memorable essays he covered the 1956 Olympics in Australia--the first of six he photographed; water buffaloes and their boy keepers in Thailand; the celebrations for Buddha's 2500th birthday in Burma; Laotian troops; the early years of the Vietnam war; John Kennedy's "I am a Berliner" speech; Woodstock; Nixon's trip to China; and entertainers such as Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Pearl Bailey and Jacques D'Amboise. The great thing about working with LIFE," said Dominis, "was that I was given all the support and money and time, whatever was required, to do almost any kind of work I wanted to do, anywhere in the world. It was like having a grant, a Guggenheim grant, but permanently."
Dominis became photo editor of People magazine (1974-78) and then Sports Illustrated (1978-1982). Returning to freelance photography, Dominis shot the photographs for five Italian cookbooks, on location with Giuliano Bugialli, food writer and teacher. He also shot the photographs for Cats of Africa (Time Life Books 1968). Dominis' awards include first prize, General Portfolio category of The White House News Photographers' Association in 1963 and Magazine Photographer of the Year 1966, University of Missouri School of Journalism.
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