The young photographer who snapped Elvis at 21 dies aged 85.
Legendary Elvis Presley photographer Alfred Wertheimer, whose highly-publicised snaps of the star on his rise to fame, passed away on Sunday (October 19th 2014) aged 85.
Alfred Wertheimer with his work at the European Elvis Presley festival exhibition (Photo by Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images)
One of the world's most famous celebrity snappers was announced to have died in his apartment in New York last week from natural causes according to a statement issued by Chris Murray, owner of the Govinda Gallery in Washington DC where much of his work surrounding music phenomenon Elvis Presley resides.
Wertheimer's career was defined by the black and white shots he took of 21-year-old Elvis when he himself was only 26; reams of photographs depicting the rock 'n' roll star on stage, greeting fans and journeying from New York to Memphis by train. The photos are so monumental that they have been exhibited at the likes of DC's biggest musuem, the Smithsonian Institution, as well as the Grammy Museum in LA.
'There has been no other photographer that Elvis ever allowed to get as up close and personal in his life through photos as he did with Alfred', Elvis' ex-wife Priscilla Presley said in a statement today (October 22nd 2014). 'I'm deeply saddened by the death of Alfred Wertheimer. He was a dear friend and special soul. I feel he was a gift for all who knew him especially, Elvis Presley.'
Alfred Wertheimer poses with one of his most famous portraits at the European Elvis Presley festival exhibition (Photo by Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images)
The photographer, who left Germany for New York as a young boy during Hitler's reign of terror, has made himself one of the most important pieces of Elvis history, with his exquisitely personal portraits being depicted everywhere from T-shirts to books. Among the most famous shots were 'The Kiss', 'Hound Dog' and 'Don't Be Cruel'.