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Ron Galella’s Classic New York Celebrity Photos: Elvis, Michael Jackson and More

From Jackie O to Marlon Brando, see timeless photos of New York celebrities from Ron Galella, the "godfather of U.S. paparazzi culture."

Ron Galella/Ron Galella,Ltd.

The paparazzi have become synonymous with celebrity culture. They spend their waking hours searching for—and at times, stalking—the individuals who have forfeited personal privacy for fame and fortune. But before the extreme antics of today’s camera-wielding paparazzo, there was Ron Galella, “Godfather of the U.S. paparazzi culture.” Galella leapt from bushes, lurked in corners, and once even followed Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis to Greece, posing as a sailor to snap a photo the former First Lady in a bikini. Through the lawsuits, restraining orders (by Jackie O.) and a broken jaw (thanks to Marlon Brando), Galella quickly gained a reputation as the “Paparazzo Extraordinaire.” In conjunction with a "digital gallery" of unpublished images on display at District M in the ROW NYC hotel, a new publication, Ron Galella New York (Damiani, June 2014), compiles Galella’s candids of Michael Jackson, Andy Warhol, Diane von Furstenberg, and Cher, among others. Below, see a sneak peak at the many surprised faces the legendary paparazzo captured.

Left: John Lennon and David Bowie, 1975

Ron Galella/Ron Galella,Ltd.

Michael Jackson, 1986

Ron Galella/Ron Galella,Ltd.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis, 1979

Ron Galella/Ron Galella,Ltd.

Sean Penn, 1986

Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Polly Mellen and Christy Turlington, 1989

Ron Galella/Ron Galella,Ltd.

Patti LaBelle, 1989

Ron Galella/Ron Galella,Ltd.

Yves Saint Laurent, 1974

Ron Galella/Ron Galella,Ltd.

Marlon Brando, 1974

Ron Galella/Ron Galella,Ltd.

Diane von Furstenberg, 1978

Lauren Hutton, 1979

Ron Galella/Ron Galella,Ltd.

Elvis, 1975

Mick Jagger, 1984