Wayne F. Miller, the photographer best known for his portraits of black America in post-WWII Chicago, has died. He was 94.
Miller got his start studying banking at the University of Illinois at Urbana, only doing photography work on the side. He later studied at the Art Center School in Los Angeles. As a lieutenant in the Navy, Miller took some of the iconic photos from the war. He was one of the first to photograph the aftermath at Hiroshima.
He is known for his work The Way of Life of the Northern Negro, which was later published in the book Chicago’s South Side, 1946-1948. He also worked on Dr. Benjamin Spock’s A Baby’s First Year.
Miller served as a contributor to international photographic cooperative Magnum Photos since 1958. Here’s what president Alex Majoli had to say about Miller’s passing:
“The first time I met Wayne Miller I was surprised to see a white man. Having known his legendary pictures of the Southside of Chicago for so long, I had always imagined the man to be black. He paved the ground for the rest of us who tried to depict the streets, the real life. He was a pioneer. Only recently, I learned that he served in the navy as a photographer in WWII, and then a contract photographer for LIFE. It might have seemed like golden years for photographers now, but he had to invent himself in many ways, a character trait I highly appreciate in people. With the utmost respect and great sorrow I have to say goodbye to a master I was so fortunate to meet, even if it was only on a few occasions.”