American fashion photographer and filmmaker William Klein, renowned for his pioneering contributions to the industry, passed away peacefully at the age of 96 in Paris. The news was confirmed by his son, Pierre Klein.

Born in New York City in 1926, William Klein initially pursued a career as a painter, receiving training under renowned artist Fernand Léger. He achieved early recognition through successful solo exhibitions in Milan. However, his path soon led him to photography after his involvement in the war. His unique photographic style caught the attention of art director Alexander Liberman, ultimately leading to a position as a photographer for Vogue in New York in 1954, marking the beginning of his illustrious career.

Klein’s remarkable contributions to the world of photography were acknowledged with several prestigious awards, including the Prix Nadar in 1957 for his book «New York,» a collection of photographs captured during a brief return to his hometown in 1954. Additionally, he received the Royal Photographic Society’s Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship in 1999 and the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award from the Sony World Photography Awards in 2012. He holds the 25th position on Professional Photographer’s list of the 100 most influential photographers.

His recent work was showcased in an exhibition titled «William Klein: YES: Photographs, Paintings, Films, 1948–2013» at New York’s International Center of Photography, reaffirming his enduring impact on the world of photography and the arts.

William Klein’s legacy as an iconic figure in fashion photography and filmmaking will continue to inspire generations to come.

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