Photography with the Paparazzi Approach

Ron Galella is not your typical photographer. He is most known for being the personal stalker and crazed-obsessive paparazzo of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. While Galella did have a degree in photojournalism and served as an Air Force photographer during the Korean War, his fame comes from following Mrs. Onassis and her children around, and taking several pictures of them a day, being called “the most co-dependent celeb-paparazzi relationship ever,” by the New York Post.  Because of his obsession with Mrs. Onassis, Galella has gone through many legal battles associated with it. In the trial of Galella v. Onassis, 1972, Ron Galella received a restraining not allowing him to come within 50 feet of Onassis, and 75 feet of her children.  Although Galella’s intense stalking put Mrs. Onassis and her children in fear, it made her the fashion icon that she today. Over the span of 13 years, Galella took literally thousands of pictures of Onassis and her children. Ron Galella is considered one of America’s first true paparazzi, being named “Paparazzo Extraordinaire” by Newsweek, and “the Godfather of the U.S. paparazzi culture” by Time magazine and Vanity Fair. Galella published all of his photos of Onassis in his book titled Jakie: My Obsession.

Fun fact: Ron Galella was punched in the jaw by Marlon Brando, knocking out some of his teeth after following Brando to a restaurant after the taping of The Dick Cavett Show.

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-S.Selby

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