William Klein American, 1928- William Klein won his first camera in a poker game in 1947 and, since that time, has enjoyed a reputation as an "enfant terrible" for his continued rejection of the status quo. Born in New York to a family of Hungarian-Jewish descent, Klein grew up in a tough neighborhood. He attended the City College of New York (B.S. in social science, 1945) before entering the armed forces. Demobilized in Paris at the end of World War II, Klein stayed in the city, studying art for one year at the Sorbonne. He continued to paint under the tutelage of Fernand Léger (1948), exhibiting his work in France, Belgium, and Italy from 1950-54. Returning to New York, Klein took his camera into the streets and assaulted the sensibilities of mainstream photojournalism with his gritty, 35mm shots. Although rejected by American publishers, the work was taken to press by a Parisian firm and garnered criticism as well as praise for its grainy style and forthright subject matter. Klein earned a Prix Nadar for New York Is Good and Good for You in 1957. His shots of Rome (1960), Tokyo (1964), and Moscow (1964) reveal a similar sensibility and were published as books. During 1955-65 Klein worked under contract for Vogue. Although eventually regarded as their star photographer, helping to bring the publication ahead of its arch rival, Harper's Bazaar, he always retained a distance from the fashion industry. Again rejecting traditional poses and props, he often used abstraction and distortion in his photographs, a technique at first rejected by the magazine's editors but gradually accepted as the product of a vanguard vision. In 1984 Klein worked backstage at the Paris fashion shows on the film Made in France. Photographs from both periods were the focus of his 1994 one-person traveling exhibition and publication, In and Out of Fashion. In 1958 Klein made his first 20mm film, Broadway by Light, and has directed several documentary films for French television since 1967. He stopped doing still photography for 10 years until 1978, when he was asked to organize a retrospective of his work to be shown in London and throughout the Netherlands. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, also sponsored a retrospective in 1980. Since then, Klein has taken up photography with renewed interest and indefatigable energy, while continuing to work on films and television commercials, with more than 250 of the latter to his credit. In addition to the Prix Nadar, he has won a Top Photographer Award from Photokina, Cologne (1963), the Grand Prix at the Festivale Internationale de Tours (1965), and the Prix Jean Vigo, Paris (1967). Klein lives in Paris. A.W.