National Press Club

Famed Photographer John Launois Is Subject of Exhibit and Book Rap

October 2, 2013 | By Nicole Hoffman | nhoffman@press.org

The Club is featuring an exhibit of the works of the late photojournalist John Launois, and a discussion of his book, ``L'Americain: A Photojournalist's Life,'' by his son and coauthor Chris Pan Launois. Launois recorded some of the most iconic images of the 1960s, including presidents, the Beatles, Malcolm X, wars, riots, and natural disasters.

The reception will begin at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7, in the Holeman Lounge and feature a cash bar and hors d'oeuvres. The discussion will begin at 6:45 p.m. and conclude with a book signing.

Tickets are $5 for NPC members; $10 for non-members. Register at http://www.press.org/events/lamericain-photojournalists-life. The club-member admission fee is waived with a preordered copy of the book, an option that appears on the ticket form.

Before television, the great picture magazines captured world events for millions of readers. They sent correspondents and photojournalists to the ends of the earth to record history in the making. Among these photographers was Launois. During the 1960s and 1970s, the final decades of the "golden age of photojournalism," Launois blossomed as one of the most resourceful, inventive, prolific, highly paid and widely-traveled photojournalists.

Launois made himself the master of the deeply researched photo essay and his published work appeared in Life, The Saturday Evening Post, National Geographic, Time, Rolling Stone, Paris Match, and many other publications.

``L'Americain: A Photojournalist's Life'' tells his story from his youth amid the poverty and terror of German-occupied France during World War II when he dreamed of coming to America, to his lean "noodle years" in the Far East as he struggled to master his craft, and finally to his years in America as a successful photographer and globetrotting adventurer. He also writes very candidly of the terrible toll the demands of his work imposed on his family, his loves and himself. Through it all, he mingled with the rich, powerful and downtrodden alike, always marveling that he had come so far.

Launois was born in France in l928, survived the German occupation during World War II, and became an American citizen in l954. He died in 2002. The New York Times described him as "one of the top international photojournalists in the l960s.''

Chris Pan Launois is Launois' son and coauthor. He was born in New York City in l964. He is a musician and composer, founded the band Pan, and attended New York University Film School.