John Dominis

A tribute to the late, great Life photographer

John Dominis passed away peacefully on December 30, 2013. By his side was his partner of more than three decades, artist Evelyn Floret. The renowned photo-journalist passed away at their home following complications from emergency bypass surgery a year earlier.

This website has been set up by Evelyn Floret, at the suggestion of Mike Maple. It is here so that his friends and admirers can sign his guestbook and share their memories of this extraordinary man. He may be remembered through his prolific work, which may be found through the links on the His Work and Obituaries page(s).

Please use the Guestbookย  section below to share your thoughts/post comments about John. The notes posted here prior to his passing were most meaningful to him and those posted now are meaningful to those who were close to him.

Guestbook

John was a great inspiration to many in the creative community. If you count yourself among them and care to share a link to your website, John would be proud to offer a link to it from this site. Photos may be manually added in your guestbook message by the administrator, if you would please send them as email attachments to Evelyn at evelyn@sculpturezone.com. Please also use that email address, should you have any other problem pertaining to this website.

Thank you for your support.

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Evelyn Floret wrote on June 27, 2018 at 10:16 pm:
To Dearest John
In remembrance of your 97th birthday

Today, a university professor in Australia inquired about your iconic image of Tommie Smith and John Carlos and he asked how you happened to capture it. I loved the chance to tell him that you covered six Olympics starting with Australia in 1956 and that you anticipated nothing unusual that day at the Mexico Olympics in 1968 and I quoted you as saying " I love sports and I like sports photography. And the Olympics are the biggest sporting event you could photograph (with) the very best people in the world in every sport. I made several covers and many pages in the magazine." So you see John, you live on in your photographs and in our hearts. I treasure the time you shared with me and the generous gift you share with all of us.

With great love for you,
Evelyn
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Evelyn Floret wrote on June 27, 2017 at 2:23 pm:
Dearest John,
Today on your
Ninety-sixth birthday
You live in memory
Beautiful one
Who graced my life
The love of my life
Who enriched it
Beyond all expectation
Who shared
with the world
The visual wonders
You captured
on your journey
to greatness.

Evelyn
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Dale Laszig wrote on May 22, 2017 at 6:06 pm:
Thu, 20 February 2014 15:31:48 +0000
I met Johnโ€™s son on my way to California. We were both 15. The airlines were on strike that summer, so we traveled across the country on a Trailways bus with uniformed attendants who served us meals and snacks. I remember departing from Port Authority, waving from our front seats at my parents and John, who were standing together, waving enthusiastically. Since then, whenever I see a photo credit, it always brings a smile.
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Eleanor Graves wrote on May 22, 2017 at 6:05 pm:
Wed, 22 January 2014 19:55:53 +0000

Dear Evelyn,

I've been thinking of you since John died and of what good care you took of him. I want you to know how much we miss him. Ralph and I were so fond of John. We were very close at LIFE Magazine.

Ralph, who as you know died six months ago, was the last Managing Editor at LIFE. He said that, if he had to survive at LIFE with one photographer or start a new magazine with one photographer, it would be John Dominis.

This is a story about John I'd like to share with you: At LIFE, I was the Modern Living Editor and then afterwards, I originated the idea of Great Dinners as a monthly LIFE feature. It was at that time that John and I worked on food pictures in the studio and we used to have fights. He thought he was the boss and I thought I was the boss. We would do 4 or 5 food pictures at a time. One day, on the last shot of the day, everything went wrong. John was annoyed and I was annoyed. Although we had planned a celebratory lunch at La Grenouille, I stayed behind with the cook to prepare to reshoot the last shot. I sometimes prepared the food and we had a cook there as well. So, John and the crew went to lunch at La Grenouille, and we were going to reshoot afterwards. John didn't want to come back. But, of course, he did return and came in carrying this enormous bowl of chocolate mouse from La Grenouille. He knew I loved chocolate. It was so sweet of him and so funny to picture him walking down the street with this huge bowl of chocolate mouse. I never forgot it. It was a true John Dominis gesture, affectionate and grand.

Eleanor
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Anthony Neste wrote on May 22, 2017 at 6:05 pm:
Sat, 11 January 2014 16:57:53 +0000

Evelyn,
I come with a heavy heart. It was only yesterday when i opened up SI that i found out of John's passing.I have been shooting now for over 30 years and it was John that gave me my first assignment at Sports Illustrated. We first meet In the fall of 1980,when you had to actually sit across a desk and show your work face to face to an editor, I was a little nervous to say the least to be showing my portfolio to John Dominis, OMG. But he was so gracious in viewing and critiquing my work i was hoping he seen something he liked. As he closed my book he gave me this look that i couldn't quite figure out,I thought ok here it comes , "thanks kid don't call us we'll call you". But then he gave me a smile and said "What are you doing this Saturday?". Well, that first assignment at a South Carolina football game turned my life around. It started an amazing 15 year career at Sports Illustrated and with many others in the Time Inc.family.
I wish now that I could have seen him before his passing. But that fall day when we first meet will be a day I will cherish forever.

Peace,_Anthony Neste
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Jan Zonon wrote on May 22, 2017 at 6:05 pm:
Sat, 11 January 2014 13:49:09 +0000

Dear Evelyn,

I just learned of John's passing and am so sorry you have lost your partner of so many wonderful years. I met John in 1993 on the mountains of Taos, New Mexico where he had taken a ski trip with his daughter Dori. My late husband Barry and I enjoyed many ski runs and several meals together and over the course of that week enjoyed getting to know him. Such a humble man, I had no idea of his extraordinary talent until discovering on my own that he was behind so many iconic images I had grown up with. A couple of years later, much to our delight, Barry and I reacquainted ourselves with John when we learned we belonged to the same tennis club in Amagansett. In the last few years I have again enjoyed his company at South Fork Country Club. I shall always remember this kind, talented man with a gorgeous head of silver hair and a twinkle in the bluest of eyes.

God Bless, Jan Zonon
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Dick Swanson wrote on May 22, 2017 at 6:05 pm:
Thu, 9 January 2014 16:07:33 +0000

John was my picture editor at People Mag. and told me my pictures stunk or were good...he always had suggestions to make the bad ones acceptable and the good ones even better...my most memorable times with him were in the kitchen eating his pictures after he was done with his imagination...

what a talent! more importantly, what a privilege to know him...
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David Geffin wrote on May 22, 2017 at 6:04 pm:
Mon, 6 January 2014 01:33:02 +0000

I was very sorry to hear of John's passing yesterday. I wrote an homage to him, celebrating his life and his work for the photography website i write for. If anyone is interested in can be read here:

http://fstoppers.com/celebrating-the-life-of-life-photographer-john-dominis

Hopefully his work will continue to inspire the next generation of photographers as it inspired me.

Deepest condolences to his family and friends,

Dave
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Neile McQueen wrote on May 22, 2017 at 6:04 pm:
Sun, 5 January 2014 02:45:55 +0000

Dear Evelyn,

I am so sorry to hear of John's passing. I just found out by way of Paris. It must have happened while I was on my flight home.

He was the sweetest man. The one thing that always stands out in my mind is the big album John gave Steve and me of the fabulous photos he took of us in 1963. I'm so happy that I was at least able to see him two years ago and had that contact with him because of the German Coffee Table book that Bob Adelman put together this past year. Hopefully it will be published here.

Take care and God bless. Neile McQueen
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Geir lillemark wrote on May 22, 2017 at 6:03 pm:
Sat, 4 January 2014 13:09:55 +0000

One of the giants has fallen. John Dominis took the pictures that made me take my choice, to become a photographer. RIP.
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Sid and Michelle Monroe wrote on May 22, 2017 at 6:03 pm:
Fri, 3 January 2014 21:03:00 +0000

We send our deepest condolences to all of John's family. John was truly one of the greatest photographers that we had the pleasure of know and showing in our gallery, and moreover he was an extraordinary human being.

We will endeavor to help the world remember, and in the future, discover, John by his wonderful legacy of photographs.

Sid and Michelle
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Charles Pascale wrote on May 22, 2017 at 6:03 pm:
Fri, 3 January 2014 20:54:09 +0000

John and his fellow Life Photographers fed my passion for photography, which continues still...at age 67. Further, my two daughters are skilled photographers, and still take the "old dog" to photo exhibits in NYC. The well executed, balanced photo still moves without drama. cp
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DAVID JOEL wrote on May 22, 2017 at 6:03 pm:
Fri, 3 January 2014 13:52:05 +0000

My condolences to John's family. I am YALE JOEL's son and met John the year before Yale died in 2006.
Looking through his photos the last few days has been a marvelous experience-- reminding me of the extraordinary world these Life Magazine photographers live in. John was... one of the last.
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Nick Khazal wrote on May 22, 2017 at 6:02 pm:
Thu, 2 January 2014 19:50:41 +0000

What an amazing body of work and visual narrative! Thank you for sharing with the rest of us. You'll be missed by many and forgotten by none.
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Jeff Barger wrote on May 22, 2017 at 6:02 pm:
Thu, 2 January 2014 17:02:54 +0000

I met John when he was speaking at the school I learned photography at (Milwaukee Area Technical College)a few years ago. I graduated back in 1979 and have been making a living with my cameras since then. When I heard he was coming to speak at MATC, I cleared my calendar so I could attend. I really enjoyed hearing him speak, and talked with him after his presentation. He was a pleasure to speak with, and was inspiring to me. I have a great deal of respect for John, and wish his family well. He will be missed by many.
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Robin Leavitt Melen wrote on May 22, 2017 at 6:02 pm:
Wed, 1 January 2014 23:20:26 +0000

I was lucky enough to grow up with John and his family in my life. He worked with my dad, Scot, on Life magazine, and they were very close friends. John was such a presence in his quiet, strong way. The stories they told, the lives they lived ... There was nothing like Life magazine and its team of writers and editors. There was a special bond. Godspeed, John. Love to the family.
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Manny Millan wrote on May 22, 2017 at 6:01 pm:
Wed, 1 January 2014 16:55:37 +0000

Dear Evelyn,

I am deeply saddened to hear of John's passing. John was much more than my mentor and good friend,
he was a huge inspiration to all photographer's and much admired by all who were fortunate to have known him as a person. His wonderful storytelling, wit and charm will be missed.

Can you please keep me posted as to funeral arrangements and/or memorial for John.

Manny Millan
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Castel Ortiz wrote on May 22, 2017 at 6:01 pm:
Wed, 1 January 2014 05:15:40 +0000

I am remembering being at the top of the Empire State Building and having it all to ourselves after the opening night party for Young Frankenstein. Just one of the many special moments I've shared with you and Evelyn. I am privileged to call you my friend. A true Renaissance Man, you will be sorely missedโ€ฆ

Castel
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Cynthia Hurwitz wrote on May 22, 2017 at 6:01 pm:
Wed, 1 January 2014 05:03:34 +0000

I am among the very fortunate people who was honored to meet John as a man and a loving family friend. Thank you John for taking us on journeys that we would never have had the opportunity to enjoy.
Thank you for loving our wonderful Evie.
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Dino Romano wrote on May 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm:
Tue, 31 December 2013 23:41:50 +0000

What a loss. But what he added to our lives, his photos and insight, will always be here to do what he intended; open minds, elucidate, educate
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Paula Lauren Gibson wrote on May 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm:
Tue, 31 December 2013 17:34:35 +0000

Your photographs were awesome and inspiring. Thanks for sharing your wonderful talent!
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George Tiedemann wrote on May 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm:
Fri, 6 December 2013 19:16:15 +0000

John, I would like to thank you for all you did to help me in my career at Sports Illustrated. You took the time to critique my errors and compliment success in a very professional manor. Your kindness is something I will never forget. Hopefully, one of these days, we can grab a cup of coffee in your neighborhood and properly thank you for all you did for me and my family. God bless you.
George Tiedemann
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Andre Allen wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:59 pm:
Thu, 31 October 2013 16:52:47 +0000

Mr. Dominis,

While surfing the internet, I stumbled across the priceless photographs you took of my father, the late MSG Grover C. Allen, Sr, and his Army company during the Korean War in March of 1951. "Operation Kapers" traveled the front lines, performing for their fellow troops during austere conditions. My father often talked about his service in Korea, but your photographs provided great insight as to what my father experienced. Sadly, my father passed away in 2006 and did not have a chance to see your photos, but they brought great joy to myself and my five siblings. Your photographs revealed a side of our father that we never otherwise would have had the chance to see. We thank you for that.

God bless, and I wish you a speedy recovery.

Andre Allen
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Kong wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:59 pm:
Thu, 12 September 2013 21:17:18 +0000

Dear John:
You donโ€™t know me, but Iโ€™m so grateful to you. My father was among one of the Meotribe men, youโ€™ve captured with your camera on that day May of 1961, in Padong Laos. It was during the Vietnam War, and life in Laos was still unknown to the world. But it was you who capture him in time. It is our only photograph of my father during that time. He now has passed, and I am forever grateful to you for being there for us and make us a part of your life. Youโ€™re already in the best of hands. God has you in his hands from the very beginning. May God continue to watch over you and may you live your life to the fullest and when the time come, I know you will go home to him as hero. In the world of hero, the only two heroes I knew are you and my father. Who was very much like you, he was never too afraid to live.

Much love,
Kong
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Johan Jo wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:59 pm:
Wed, 11 September 2013 06:20:08 +0000

Dear John,
Many Koreans remember you and your great photo works.
As one of Korean photograpers, I wish you get well soon and visit Korea for the LIFE PHOTO EXHIBITION.
I will keep you in my prayers
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Sydney Williams wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:58 pm:
Tue, 3 September 2013 07:20:11 +0000

Dear john,

I often think of our days (and evenings) in Vail, with Bud, Helen, Bill and Hank, and the way you would charge the slopes. This past winter I was unable to get there because of a back problem, but I should be able to make it this year.

Only today did I discover you had been ill, of which I was sorry to hear, but I am pleased you are at home recovering.

Get well soon, as we are all counting on you. The very best,
Sydney
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Frederic Haguenauer wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:58 pm:
Wed, 21 August 2013 17:11:55 +0000

Hello Mr. Dominis, I am a French photographer who admires your photos for 30 years. Today, thanks to the internet, I can finally tell you all how much I admire your work, and I think that a man who makes as wonderful pictures can be humanly admirable.
I wish you still long and good life. Frederic.
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Art Meripol wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:57 pm:
Wed, 7 August 2013 22:53:02 +0000

John, I hope you're better. I am a pro photographer, worked 25 years for Time Warner magazines. Just recently I discovered you and my dad went to high school together at Freemont High. I had know of, admired and envied your work for years so this was a fun discovery. My dad is Robert (Bob) Meripol. I know that was a long time ago. My dad is going strong still. I hope you are doing every bit as well.

My sincere best and thanks for all the great moments you captured and shared.
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Shari wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:57 pm:
Sun, 5 May 2013 02:22:14 +0000

Thanks a lot for sharing this excellent site.
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Mason Mullally wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:56 pm:
Tue, 30 July 2013 04:01:49 +0000

Sorry, I didnt read what was on the website before I sent my message. God bless.

Mason Mullally


(61) Shari Sun, 5 May 2013 02:22:14 +0000

Thanks a lot for sharing this excellent site.
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Eric Peabody wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:56 pm:
Sun, 7 April 2013 00:10:00 +0000

John,

I hope you are well -- I hope this website is out of date and you are back on your feet again.

I am writing because in 1969 my brother took me to the Woodstock festival as a birthday present. A more amazing gift could not have been imagined.

As it turns out, you took a photograph of him standing behind a woman washing her hair. This is the shot: http://timelifeblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/17_110978887.jpg?w=636. We were all astonished by his good fortune at getting recorded this way.

Since he passed away not long afterward, this photograph means a great deal to me. Is it possible to get a print? I've searched and not found a source for it.

Thank you and I hope for your good health.

Eric Peabody
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Eric Swenson wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:55 pm:
Sun, 3 March 2013 03:01:22 +0000

Mr. Dominis, I met you somewhere around 1958. You were doing a piece about cowboys in West Texas and stayed in Spur, Texas for several days. I was too young to know the paticulars but some how my father, Eric Swenson, was your "guide". Since there were no motels in our little town you stayed in our home for two or three days. I got to travel with you and my Dad while you were looking for subjects to photograph. You made a photo of my Dad leaning against a barn wall and had it mailed to him when you returned home. As I am typing this I'm looking at the photo hanging on my den wall. It captures his character better than any photo ever made of him and I cherish it dearly. I'm really glad you came our way those many years ago. Eric Swenson, Jr.
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Beth Ditson wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:55 pm:
Wed, 6 February 2013 15:55:16 +0000

Hi John,
I hope you're feeling better and that this story brightens your day. I am the girl watching the baby calf in the Woodstock photograph that you took. I was waiting for a friend who was looking down the 'Groovy Way' and other paths who eventually came back with info about the soup kitchen... then we went for something to eat. Getting there was crazy. I was 16 and didn't have permission from my parents to go. I told my mom that I was going to a friend's house in Baltimore (I lived in New Jersey). She came to pick me up and my step-dad said that he wanted me to call collect from Baltimore when I got there, so we drove to Baltimore to make my phone call. We also picked up a friend of her's who had received his draft notice and decided to dodge the draft. As the FBI came through his front door, he was climbing out the window, ran off and was wandering the streets. We spotted him wandering around, picked him up, drove back to New Jersey to collect another friend and off we went to Woodstock. We took a wrong turn and ended up at Harley Hinkle's farm. From there we just followed our noses and managed to avoid the 10 mile tail-back when the back road we had stumbled across led us up to the campsites! What luck! The photo when in Time Life had a Canned Heat quote attached, "Goin' up the country, girl do you want to go?" Iconic at last! Again, I wish you a speedy recovery. Best wishes, Beth
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Paul Dominis wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:54 pm:
Mon, 4 February 2013 13:16:37 +0000

P.S., Dad,
I forgot to mention that you've demonstrated the following poem by your life for as long as I can remember.
Love,
Paul
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Paul Dominis wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:54 pm:
Mon, 4 February 2013 13:12:17 +0000

Hi, Dad,
Years ago you shared Rudyard Kipling's poem "If" with me, and now I think it's more appropriate to both of us than ever.


Ifโ€”
By Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, donโ€™t deal in lies,

Or being hated, donโ€™t give way to hating,
And yet donโ€™t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dreamโ€”and not make dreams your master; If you can thinkโ€”and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth youโ€™ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build โ€™em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: โ€˜Hold on!โ€™

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kingsโ€”nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty secondsโ€™ worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything thatโ€™s in it, Andโ€”which is moreโ€”youโ€™ll be a Man, my son!

Source: A Choice of Kipling's Verse (1943) I love you, Dad,
Paul
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Mike OBryon wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:54 pm:
Tue, 22 January 2013 20:22:36 +0000

I just received a copy of your wonderful book SINATRA.... What a great st of pictures....

I hope you are doing well... I was sorry to hear of your illness and hope you are up and around soon
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Manny Millan wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:53 pm:
Fri, 18 January 2013 15:20:58 +0000

Hi John, The last time we met was at Gabriel's Restaurant with Evelyn several years ago and we had a wonderful dinner, reminiscing about the times I assisted you at LIFE, working together at the old TIME-LIFE Studio on the Great Dinners series. We laughed about how many takes it took to get the trout to come out of the almond bed in one piece. You finally froze the fish and got that fabulous picture of the flying trout! I also remember fondly our occasional tennis matches in Central Park and how you recall playing with John Zimmerman on his home court in the Canyon above Beverly Hills. Zim would not start play till he plied you with several martini's! I'm deeply indebted to you in what you taught me as your assistant at LIFE and how that played a huge part in my success as a photographer at Sports Illustrated. You were also the best picture editor at SI I ever worked for. I'm hoping you will recover from the surgery and be back on your feet asap. I tried calling you. I'm still your neighbor and perhaps we can take in a movie & dinner when you're up for it again. Looking forward to catching up with you again. All the best, Manny
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Holly Holden wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:53 pm:
Tue, 25 December 2012 21:02:56 +0000

Dear John:

Merry Christmas. I hope you are feeling better and I know Evelyn is taking great care of you. A hospital isn't a great place to be on a holiday (I've been there) but try to keep your spirits up and know that a lot of people are thinking about you.

Best, Holly
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Steve Schapiro wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:52 pm:
Fri, 14 December 2012 16:11:07 +0000

dear John,
you have not only been an inspiration to me but also essential in the progress of my career. When I saw the images for your show at the Monroe Gallery I was so impressed by some of the work that I had not seen for some time and it really hit home what a great photographer you are.

You will get through this and move on because you have a dominant, or should I say Dominis, sprit

MUCH LOVE and Thanks for all that you have given to me and to so many others. Steve Schapiro
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M.C. Marden wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:52 pm:
Fri, 30 November 2012 13:08:39 +0000

John, just wanted you to know the travels your work took me on yesterday. I spent some time in Spanish Wells (which you must have spent weeks shooting, there is so much material), then I inspected the grapes at the Alex Lichens vineyard (it was a good year), on the Vicenzo, Italy for some sun, then to China just to make sure Nixon was behaving, and a few short layovers in Chinatown (NYC) and Washington, D.C. Not bad for a day's work. So thanks.
I also want to thank you and Evelyn for the wonderful photograph of you with the lions. The lions are good but your smile makes the picture. Hope you're feeling better. I miss you. MC
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Hal wingo wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:52 pm:
Fri, 23 November 2012 04:43:47 +0000

John, Paula and I want yout to know that we are thinking of you every day, and I can't think of you without all kinds of great memories. Every memory of you reminds me that you had the greatest laugh and smile of anyone in the T-L. Building. Wish I could deliver this message in person but be assured it comes from the heart.

Hal
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Heather wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:51 pm:
Fri, 23 November 2012 00:07:04 +0000

Hi Mr. Dominis, you don't know me, but I'm a fan of your work. I studied some of your pics in college, and am constantly amazed as I look at more of them. Your cats, your work in Vietnam and Korea, the celebrities, the food, the olympics, on and on, your pictures are beautiful, tell such stories, display your brilliance and bravery so clearly. I'm awfully sorry you're sick. I just wanted to say thank you for all the photos you've given us, these priceles views into times and places most of us can never hope to see firsthand. You've really made your life a gift to the rest of us. I hope you appreciate how many people you have touched and will continue to touch in the years to come. Feel better soon!
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Bob Adelman wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:51 pm:
Thu, 22 November 2012 13:34:46 +0000

Sorry to hear your intensive care, Old Pal. Hope you don't have to stay too long. I have been in and out of too many hospitals, and I know I always feel better when I am out.
Heard that your prints are flying off the wall wherever they appear.
GREAT! I recently showed McQueen to Chronicle who are considering it for an English version.
Hope you are up and around soon. When you are up to it, do let me hear from you. BIG, BIG HUG,
Bob
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Heidi Stager wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:51 pm:
Wed, 21 November 2012 22:45:12 +0000

Dear Great Uncle John,

What a gracious, humble man you are! I remember seeing you for the first time since I was a little girl, and being at your wonderful art exhibit down by La Brea, that was given in your honor, highlighting many years of incredible photography. I remember feeling so proud to have such a relation! Several years back, I was given several of the cookbooks that you illustrated with your pictures, and I so enjoy looking at those. Also, what a fun celebration we were invited to for the Surfers Walk of Fame in Hermosa Beach to see you join the legendaries by the pier. You were a good sport, letting me take pictures of you with our family down near the Sea Sprite motel and enjoying dinner together at the restaurant. You, the photographer, were complimentary to me about the digital pictures I was taking. Thank you! Very encouraging. It was also a highlight to be at your 90th celebration at cousin Pat's home, with all your kids and grandkids and special friends. What a wonderful memory that was. We are praying that the Lord above gives you comfort and peace as you lean on Him for your strength during this time. You are very loved by HIm and us all! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We all have been so blessed, and you are a blessing to us all.

Love and prayers, Your Grandniece, Heidi for nine lives
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Holly Holden wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:50 pm:
Wed, 21 November 2012 17:18:06 +0000

Hi John: Your Steve McQueen photos used to hang on my wall when I was in high school. I thought he was the coolest dude alive until I met the cooler dude who took them. Little did I know then I would have the privilege of working for one of the world's finest photographers. We had a lot of fun in the PEOPLE photo dept. I'll never forget the day Dotsie, Betsy and I went shopping at a 42nd St. sex shop for a blowup doll as a joke for your birthday. Pix of the party in your office are priceless.
Hope you feel better soon. XXX, Holly
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Robin Moyer wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:50 pm:
Sun, 18 November 2012 19:22:04 +0000

Hi John,



Here's a snap made this evening of people appreciating your contribution to USA-Chinese relations: Nixon and Zhou Enlai sharing a toast in the Great Hall of the People, Beijing, 1972. A copy of your photo hangs permanently on the walls of the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents' Club, above a photo of Mao toasting Chiang Kaishek at the FCC in Chung King, circa 1945. Like they say, "It's History." You have always been an inspiration for me and for generations of photojournalists around the world. Please hang in there and give us "just a few more" before you ship the film. Albest, -

Robin
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Lanny Jones wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:49 pm:
Sun, 18 November 2012 17:09:13 +0000

Has there ever been a photographer -- or anyone? -- with this amount of talent and achievement combined with so much human decency? John, we are pulling for you to solve this problem as you have solved so many others for us in the past. Get well, my friend.
-- Lanny
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Claudia Dowling wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:49 pm:
Sun, 18 November 2012 14:40:58 +0000

Hi John, lots of love to you. I was thinking about you just recently and looking for your work on line, so I am glad to find these links. I still remember stumbling around the site of the Woodstock festival 20 years later with Bill Eppridge trying to duplicate some of your pictures.
Hope you feel better real soon. Claudia
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Joy Wansley wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:49 pm:
Sun, 18 November 2012 11:38:46 +0000

John was always the calm in the always chaotic photo department in the early days at PEOPLE.
Even better was the wonderful chili he made for our first Christmas party. What a party! John, you are in my prayers and heart and I look forward to seeing you at a TLAS luncheon.

Joy Wansley
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Gael Mooney wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:48 pm:
Fri, 16 November 2012 23:04:10 +0000

Dear John,

I was so sorry to hear from Dori that you are in the hospital. I have been following your progress through Dori and hear that you are making great strides in your recovery. I know you are a fighter as has been seen through the many challenges you have surmounted throughout your long and fascinating life and brilliant career as a photographer. I know you can do it, John! I am keeping you close in my thoughts and prayers and sending all good wishes your way for a complete and speedy recovery.

Love,

Gael Mooney
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Neil Leifer wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:48 pm:
Fri, 16 November 2012 15:17:50 +0000

Dear John,

I'm sorry sorry to hear the news about you being so sick. I love you Johnny and pray that you recover quickly. You've been the youngest 90+ person I've ever known.
My thoughts, prayers and best wishes are with you John right now..... You've been one of my hero's for many, many years..........I can 't wait to see you once you're allowed to have visitors.

Love,

Neil
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M.C. Marden wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:48 pm:
Fri, 16 November 2012 14:47:28 +0000

John, just wanted to let you know that I spent yesterday with your photographs of Hawaii. You must have been there for a big job. I think you covered the whole island both above and below the water. It's a vicarious vacation for me. But don't think I spent the whole day in Hawaii--every once in a while I'd find some beautiful shots of the most pristine snow in Alaska. You could almost hear the wind blowing.
And I also found your shoot in China for Fortune which was amazing. It's a different country now.
I'm taking today off to enjoy a beautiful day. I hope each day finds you stronger and stronger.
Much love, MC
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Paul Dominis wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:47 pm:
Fri, 16 November 2012 13:21:37 +0000

Hi, Dad, it's Paul,
I remember one of our trips to Puerto Rico. I don't know how you figured it out, but we drove across the whole island to go to Rincon hoping to find a surf spot. We found it down past some sugar cane and open fields. It was the greatest point break, and we spent a good long time surfing there. You had lent me a waterproof camera, and I still remember a shot I took with the lens pointing down the wave's barrel, half in and half out of the water-just like the pros. I was quite proud of that. If you Google Rincon, P.R., you'll find pictures of a big hotel right on that break where we were the only ones.
I love you,
Paul
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Harry Benson wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:47 pm:
Fri, 16 November 2012 12:14:04 +0000

Dear John,
Gigi and I hope you will be up and about in no time. You need to show these young photographers a thing or two. We send our best wishes for your complete recovery. You are a great photographer and a great person.
I hope to see you very soon to talk about old times.
Harry Benson
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Regina Feiler wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:46 pm:
Thu, 15 November 2012 16:44:21 +0000

John:

I miss you and being able to ask you my million questions about your favorites...please have a complete and quick recovery...we need you BACK!!! Hugs and kisses and tons of love--Regina
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Amy Wong wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:46 pm:
Wed, 14 November 2012 19:30:18 +0000

Dear John:

You've been so generous with your time over the years coming to the office. It's always a pleasure to see you and your tremendous work. You are in my thoughts. Get well soon.

With warm wishes,
Amy
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joe mcnally wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:46 pm:
Wed, 14 November 2012 19:20:31 +0000

John....Rooting for you, and know you will recover. It remains one of my fondest memories, the day I was allowed to come up and visit you at People, as a truly young pup photog, untried and untested. The fact that you spent time with a young shooter, offering counsel and wisdom as only you could speaks volumes about you as a person, mentor, friend, and photog. I see your work, every day, on my wall at home-the Mick throwing his helmet. It reminds me all the time of the amazing body of work you amassed, and how photographers everywhere have aspired to do better work because of the benchmark of excellence you set. Hang in, and Burnett and I have dibs on a date with you and the espresso machine....best, Joe
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M.C. Marden wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:45 pm:
Wed, 14 November 2012 15:52:19 +0000

John, I of course think of you every day, many times a day as I go through your incredible archive. I am having the time of my life, looking at your work, organizing it into all the zillions of stories you worked on not only for LIFE but after LIFE. It is a dream project as you really don't take any bad photographs. Even the outtakes from the Cats of Africa are incredible. I am forever sharing with the people from the Picture Collection, i.e., Did you ever see this one of the leopard?" And the Appalachia story you did is so moving. And then you move on a do a Steve McQueen profile which has to be one of the great celebrity stories shot for LIFE. Not a bad picture in it. Evelyn might have told you that I now have the lunch counter full of cowboy extras (each with a cowboy hat on) and the one lone Indian standing, waiting for a place at the counter. It's not a political picture. It's just a great behind the scenes photo. The whole story again is one of the great behind the scenes look at the movie industry. And they go on and on. I even love the Italian cookbook photos. That green lasagna that we discussed will be made one day in my kitchen. I could go on forever. You know that I love you because you are such an incredible photographer, because you hired me at PEOPLE when I was just starting out in journalism, and mainly because you are such a wonderful man. Get better. I want to see you!
Much love, MC
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Tim Mantoani wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:44 pm:
Wed, 14 November 2012 05:06:58 +0000

John:

Wishing you the best for a speedy recovery. Such an honor to have you be a part of my Behind Photographs project. Get well soon! Sending you warm wishes from California.

Tim Mantoani
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Lynn Somerstein wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:44 pm:
Wed, 14 November 2012 01:33:00 +0000

Your photographs helped me learn to see and understand. Thank you
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Caprice Kaye wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:43 pm:
Tue, 13 November 2012 23:14:34 +0000

Hi Uncle John,
I hear you are in the hospital, but making some nice progress. You are in my thoughts, and I'm sending you warm, healing thoughts and keeping you in my prayers as well.
I hope each hour that goes by you continue to show progress, and most importantly, that you feel good and comfortable.

Thank you to Sarah and Evelyn for their support in getting the word out that we could write to you. And, as always, Cousin Mary, for spreading the word to the Sevillas as well.

Love & hugs to you, Uncle John. Love,
Caprice
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Sid and Michelle Monroe wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:43 pm:
Tue, 13 November 2012 21:41:11 +0000

Dear John:

We have been thinking about you, and so many of your friends and colleagues have inquired at the gallery about you. It is an honor and a privilege to exhibit your tremendous legacy of photographs. Please get well soon!!

Sid and Michelle Monroe
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Castel V. Ortiz wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:43 pm:
Tue, 13 November 2012 19:50:20 +0000

John, the term Renaissance Man was invented for you. I look forward to seeing you again soon, my dear friend... Castel
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Steve Sevilla wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:42 pm:
Tue, 13 November 2012 15:41:58 +0000

Family is a wonder we grow up from a child with memories of Family that we keep in our hearts, as we grow we remember the people that always impressed us with the love and talent they have. They also have made a difference in many lives with the accomplishments they have made. John glad you are getting better! Love to all and God Bless Steve Sevilla
Admin Reply by: netz


John Dominis (foreground, right) and Mark Kaufman demonstrate how to have fun at the Hermosa Beach Pier in 1939.
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Margie Gardner wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:41 pm:
Tue, 13 November 2012 06:16:59 +0000

My favorite memory of Uncle John was when he played the game Twister with us youngsters in the front room of our old victorian house at the 1966 Christmas in Ferndale. He was so famous and he was the only adult to get down an dirty with us on the floor.

I always looked forward to life magazine arriving in the mail in case he had photos in it. Good luck Uncle! I wish I had known you better when I reached adulthood.
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Julie Sevilla wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:41 pm:
Tue, 13 November 2012 06:10:27 +0000

John -

Your photography is a precious art form that many strive to perfect throughout their lives and may not ever achieve. You are a true inspiration to all that have had the pleasure of viewing your work. The forever moments captured in your photography will continue to intrigue and motivate for years to come.

Prayers, love, and good vibes for a speedy recovery.

Julie Sevilla
(3rd or 4th cousin)
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David and Shoshana Sonnenberg wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:40 pm:
Mon, 12 November 2012 17:22:47 +0000

John,

Shoshana and I are thinking about you John, and wish you a full and speedy recovery. We've had so many great dinners together with you and Evelyn but our evening at "Per Se" topped them all.
Just thinking about it still gives Shoshana and me a severe case of instantaneous Gout. It was , by far, the greatest culinary extravaganza of our life and also the most expensive we might add. (The following morning we promptly sold half our stock portfolio)... In retrospect, I guess it's fair to say that we went a bit overboard by selecting the Chef's 9-course tasting event instead of the simpler 3-course menu-- but it seemed so do'able at the time, and the four of us love and admire great food... We started the feast with Evelyn's favorite champagne and then proceeded to experience a nine course dinner with nine paired wines for every dish. I specifically recall Shoshana and Evelyn giggling after the 5th glass of wine...To add insult to injury, we adventurously added foie gras and truffles as essential supplements....Now, that might have been considered a bit excessive by some, but we were "on a roll" that evening and The Devil be Damned.... For lack of a better name, I have subsequently referred to that special night as our "The King Louis XVI Pigout." Yes, it might have been a tad expensive, but your and Evelyn's company, scintillating conversation on all sorts of subjects, and the wonderful food and wine was worth every euro--even if the four of us were subsequently a bit "ill" from the over-indulgence. And, after all, we did get an autographed menu from the chef for having survived the experience.

Fondly,
David and Shoshana Sonnenberg
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James Fanucchi wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:40 pm:
Mon, 12 November 2012 08:43:57 +0000

Greetings John,

I feel so privileged to have discovered you and your incredible body of work from your Grandson Johnner here in Sonoma Calif. As a budding photojournalist and photo-editor of City College of San Francisco's newspaper, your images are an amazing inspiration and a motivator to travel the world!

Take care and I wish you all the best.
~James Fanucchi
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Andy French wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:38 pm:
Sun, 11 November 2012 16:07:44 +0000

Hey John,

Sending you giant good thoughts for a healthy recovery. Your kindness, and and talents remain unrivaled.!!!
Please get well soon soon soon. Much much love,
your trusty old photo assistant,
Aandy
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Barry Tenin wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:38 pm:
Sun, 11 November 2012 02:21:03 +0000

John,

Wishing you the best for a speedy recovery. Your LIFE pictures were an inspiration for a then young photographer. I still cherish the advice you offered me as Director of Photography at People and SI
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J. Bruce Baumann wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:37 pm:
Sat, 10 November 2012 13:21:54 +0000

John, I still remember the night we shared with Joe Scherschel at the Jefferson. Great war stories of your days at LIFE. Wonderful people.
jbruce
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Gragnon wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:37 pm:
Sat, 10 November 2012 11:23:53 +0000

Dear John, please get better, that would be a wonderful Christmas gift!!! Everybody here in Paris send their best wishes, and good recovery!!!! Lots of love!!! Julia
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Richard Mackson wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:36 pm:
Fri, 9 November 2012 22:22:41 +0000

Hey boss get well soon!
Richard Mackson
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Al Satterwhite wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:36 pm:
Fri, 9 November 2012 21:44:09 +0000

John,

Get better soon - we need all the 'greats' around as long as possible - I promise to reshoot that SI assignment for you...... one of these days

Al
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Eric Schweikardt wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:36 pm:
Fri, 9 November 2012 21:26:28 +0000

John,
My very best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Eric
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Ron Modra wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:35 pm:
Fri, 9 November 2012 19:35:54 +0000

John... Get well soon. I can never thank you enough for all you taught me when you took a chance on bringing me on board at Sports Illustrated. I still try and apply the lessons all these many years later. I will be forever grateful to your kindness...
Ron Modra
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Skip Brown wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:35 pm:
Fri, 9 November 2012 19:21:28 +0000

I haven't seen John in quite a few years, but I remember him well when we both were assigned to cover President Nixon's visit to China in 1972. John was then, and is now, one of the best photographers of our time. His work for Life then and during that trip, and the pleasure of being in his company stay with me to this day. His picture of Mrs. Nixon's visit to the Beijing Zoo to see the Pandas, with myself, working as a CBS News cameraman with Walter Cronkite, and his producer, Ed Fouhy and other journalists from that historic visit have an honored place on my office wall at home. I just wish the best for John and his complete recovery.
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Dick Swanson wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:34 pm:
Fri, 9 November 2012 19:07:41 +0000

hey john...i think of you every morning...the big cat in the tree with the kill hangs in my bathroom....:>)

truly, tho, we all wish you a speedy recovery (and that will happen as soon as you leave the hospital)

we all love you...dickiedo
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David Burnett wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:34 pm:
Fri, 9 November 2012 15:57:15 +0000

Well, John, I have to say that I think we all would like to imagine ourselves looking as great as you do in the photograph at the top of this page. I mean, truly, THAT is what a photojournalist aspires to be: confident, able to SEE, able to move into action once you SEE what youre looking for, and make those pictures which tell the story. The guy in that portrait looks, to me like someone I'd be happy to send on any assignment, any place. I'm personally happy to have been sent out a few times by you (in the PEOPLE era) along the way. Meanwhile, there is great joy in just browsing the old magazines and seeing great photography on a big printed page, and so much of it was yours. All that is well and good, of course, but mostly, I wanted to tell you that you make a helluva capuccino,and that i wish you a speedy out of the hospital so you can once again take up the reins on your espresso machine. Just know you are loved and admired by a lot of people, both in and out of the photo world
David B
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Mike O'B wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:33 pm:
Fri, 9 November 2012 15:46:55 +0000

Sorry to hear you are feeling poorly. Hope you turn that corner quickly and are back on your feet!!!

Best Wishes from South Florida
Mike O'B
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David Bernacchi wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:33 pm:
Fri, 9 November 2012 15:38:08 +0000

Hello John,
David from Milwaukee here with all best wishes and prayers. You had an exhibition at the gallery I was a part of and I still cherish the LIFE book you signed for me. I am working on an exhibition of work from Ronald C. Modra now, who you know and was one of my mentors.

My life is enriched for having met you. Be well soon!!

David Bernacchi
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Ellis Vener wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:33 pm:
Fri, 9 November 2012 15:29:57 +0000

Dear Mr. Dominis,

We've never met as far as I know , but when i was very young your photographic work inspired me to pick up a camera for the first time and then keep trying to reach your high standards. Some people say people doesn't really change what people do and how they act but my mother holds you, Rentmeester, Eisenstadt, Crane, & Morse personally responsible for my not going to law school.

Thank you for saving me and get well soon,

Ellis Vener
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Evelyn Floret wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:32 pm:
Fri, 9 November 2012 15:18:10 +0000

Dear John,
Thank you for many lifetimes of inspiration, guidance and joy. My love,
Evelyn
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Karen Mullarkey wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:32 pm:
Fri, 9 November 2012 15:12:58 +0000

Dear John I am praying for your speedy recovery. I have such warm memories of how kind you were to me when I was just the young secretary for Dick Pollard. Please know that so many of us are here in your corner wishing you a speedy recovery. with love and admiration,
Karen
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Walter Calahan wrote on May 22, 2017 at 5:31 pm:
Fri, 9 November 2012 15:00:44 +0000

Rooting for you to get well very soon. Quick recovery. Best, Walt
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Mike Maple wrote on May 22, 2017 at 8:03 am:
Fri, 9 November 2012 14:45:05 +0000

Hi again John, I hope you are ready for some BBQ. Remember the BBQ shipments slipped in with film and equipment. Those were the days. Love you and see u soon.

Mike
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Patrick Downs wrote on May 22, 2017 at 8:01 am:
Fri, 9 November 2012 14:22:08 +0000

John,

I wish you a speedy and full recovery. We have mutual friends, though we've never met, but I was weaned as a young photographer marveling at so many brilliant John Dominis photos in LIFE Magazine so I feel like I know you a bit. Thank you for sharing your view of the world with so many of us.

Get well soon.

Pat Downs
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Jodi Cobb wrote on May 22, 2017 at 8:00 am:
Fri, 9 November 2012 14:420:18 +0000

John,

Thank you so much for your support in the very earliest days of my career. I will never forget it. I also still have one of the Nikon FTN cameras I bought from you in 1972 or '73, I think. It has a hand-made motor drive made by Marty Forscher. I have a piece of history!

Here's wishing you the best for a speedy recovery. With affection,

Jodi
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