ORINDA, Calif. -- Photographer Wayne F. Miller, who created a groundbreaking series of portraits chronicling the lives of black Americans in Chicago after serving with an elite Navy unit that produced some of the most indelible combat images of World War II, died Wednesday. He was 94.
Miller was also known for his work as a curator on an international photojournalism exhibition called "The Family of Man" and for contributing the photos to Dr. Benjamin Spock's "A Baby's First Year." He had lived in Orinda for six decades and become ill only in the last weeks of his life, his granddaughter Inga Miller said.
Born in Chicago, Miller trained for a career in banking but became a photographer when famed fashion photographer Edward Steichen picked him to be part of the military unit assigned to document the war. While assigned to the Pacific theater, he took some of the first pictures of the atomic bomb-devastated Hiroshima.
After returning home to Chicago, Miller spent two years in the late 1940s on the city's south side capturing the experiences of black residents, many of whom had moved north during the war in search of jobs and the promise of civil rights. The originals from his "The Way of the Northern Negro" series are now held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Smithsonian Institution.
Miller stopped working as a professional photographer in the mid-1970s, but he found a new passion crusading for the preservation of California's redwood forests. -- AP