Sept. 19, 1919 – May 22, 2013
Photographer Wayne F. Miller, who produced some of the most indelible combat images of World War II and created a ground-breaking series of portraits chronicling the lives of black Americans in Chicago, has died at age 94 in his Orinda home.
Miller’s granddaughter Inga Miller said the much-traveled, much-published photographer died in Orinda on Wednesday following a brief illness.
Miller served with an elite Navy camera unit in the Pacific during World War II and took some of the first pictures of Hiroshima, Japan, after it was devastated by the first atomic bomb to be dropped in wartime.
After bearing witness to some of the most brutal combat of the war and several close calls, Miller returned home to his native Chicago and spent two years on the city’s South Side capturing the experiences of its black residents. The originals from his series called “The Way of the Northern Negro” are now held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Smithsonian Institution.
Memorial services have not yet been announced. We’ll update this story when the family announces its plans.