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William Claxton Gone

from the Los Angeles Times and the NY Daily News

William Claxton dies at 80; photographer helped make Chet Baker famous

By Jon Thurber
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

October 13, 2008

William Claxton, the master photographer whose images of Chet Baker helped fuel the jazz trumpeter’s stardom in the 1950s and whose fashion photographs of his wife modeling a topless swim suit were groundbreaking years later, has died. He was 80.

 

Claxton died from complications of congestive heart failure Saturday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his wife, actress and model Peggy Moffitt Claxton, told The Times.

In a career spanning more than a half century, Claxton also became well known for his work with celebrities including Frank Sinatra and Steve McQueen, who became a close personal friend; but he gained his foremost public recognition for his photographs of jazz performers including Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Mel Torme, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Stan Getz. But it was his photographs of Baker that helped teach him the true meaning of the word photogenic.

[ click to read full article in the LA Times and the NY Daily News ]

Posted on October 13, 2008 by Editor

Filed under Culture Music Art, Los Angeles | | No Comments »