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Don Ornitz

Don Ornitz

American photographer
Don Ornitz
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American photographer
Was Photographer
From United States of America
Type Arts
Gender male
Birth 29 February 1920
Death 14 January 1972 (aged 51 years)
Star sign Pisces
The details


Don Ornitz
Janet Leigh by Don Ornitz on Photoplay cover, 1955

Don Ornitz (February 29, 1920—January 14, 1972) was a mid-century American magazine and celebrity photographer.


Donald Ornitz (1920-1972), was born in New York City to parents Sadie and screenwriter Samuel Ornitz, one of the Hollywood Ten accused of Communism, and was brother of cinematographer Arthur J. Ornitz. In 1928 they moved to California where he spent most of his life.


Ornitz photographed many celebrities, including Raquel Welch, Frank Sinatra, Walt Disney, and Audrey Hepburn. His obituary in Popular Photography magazine called him "the Titan of the Hollywood photographers".

He was also a photographer for several magazines, including Playboy, Travel and Camera, The Saturday Evening Post, Look, Pageant, Globe, Sports Illustrated and Life.

His photograph of boys catching insects on a windowpane was selected by Edward Steichen for the 1955 Museum of Modern Art world-touring exhibition The Family of Man that was seen by 9 million visitors.

As were many members of the entertainment community including his father, Ornitz was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Ornitz died January 14, 1972, in Los Angeles County, California, United States

Books by Don Ornitz

  • Ornitz, D. (1962) Living Photography, Maco.
  • Basch, P., Gowland, P., & Ornitz, D. (1958). Candid Photography. Fawcett Publications: Greenwich, Conn.
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