Born 4 July 1934 in Újpest. In 1951, he interrupted his studies at the Vocational School of Economics, and later completed his studies at the Vocational School for Fine and Applied Arts. At the age of 17, he applied to the Hungarian State Photo Enterprise, where he began as an assistant: first trimming the edges of photos, and as a porter, then on lighting, and finally as a photojournalist. In 1954, he was drafted as a soldier, and he was a reporter for the military newspaper in Gyöngyös and Kecskemét. Later he continued to regularly document field exercises and military events in Hungary and abroad. In 1973, he photographed for more than four months in wartime Vietnam, and he was awarded the grand prize of World Press Photo the following year for his report on the POW-exchange here.
For sixty years, without a break, he has been a photographer for the Hungarian Wire Service (MTI), even today – though he is now retired. Since 1960, he has been a member of the Association of Hungarian Photographic Artists; in 1963 he was invited to the ranks of the AFIAP, and in 1967 to the EFIAP.
In 2008, he became Lifetime Correspondent for the Hungarian Wire Service (MTI).
He has reported on numerous international events: on conferences, World Youth Meetings, and on the Baikonur preparations of the first Hungarian astronaut, Bertalan Farkas. But it was not the protocol photos that provided his favourite domain: it is rather the preservation of silent, quotidian moments, and human-lyrical nuances, the recording of “stolen” moments in the breaks of film shooting, that have given him true joy.
He has deservedly received recognition for these: the Golden Pen of the Hungarian Press Association (MÚOSZ), grand prize of the Photokina Biennial in Cologne, Interpress Grand Prix, the Balázs Béla, Rózsa Ferenc, and Táncsics Mihály Awards – but there are some other honours that he should have been awarded.
His photographs have featured in solo and group exhibitions from Cologne to Moscow, and will perhaps continue to be shown.
Two of his albums have been published: Emberek – Budapesti életképek 1954-1988 [People – Budapest Genre Pictures] in 2005 by Városháza Kiadó; and A pillanatból élek – Fényképek az életműből 1954-1979 [I Live for the Moment – Photographs from the Oeuvre] in 2006 from Follpress Kft. An exhibition presenting the latter volume was arranged in the Műcsarnok/Kunsthalle Budapest, and the following lines appeared in the catalogue: “I live for the moment… I try to catch the entirety in the flash of reality. This work demands action without hesitancy…”
His works are preserved in the Bibliothéque Nationale in Paris, the Hungarian Museum of Photography in Kecskemét, the Historical Photography Collection of the Hungarian National Museum, and the Körmendi-Csák 20th Century Collection of Hungarian Photography.