About the Photographer
The son of Rumanian Jewish immigrants, Mickey Pallas was born in Belvidere, Illinois and raised in Chicago, where he lived most of his life. He began his career as a freelance photographer in the mid-1940s and was a successful commercial photographer through the 1950s, contributing to magazines such as Ebony and Sepia. Many of his photographs depict facets of American life, as in this photograph of children hula-hooping. In 1959 he founded Gamma Photo Labs, a photo processing company which quickly grew to be one of the largest imaging labs in the country. He sold Gamma in 1972 and with his acquired wealth established the Center for Photographic Arts in Chicago. The Center was only in operation for one year although Pallas went on to found a photography gallery on two other occasions--first in the late 1970s and again in the mid-1980s--after recovering from a stroke. He moved to Scottsdale, Arizona in 1997, where he died later the same year. Pallas's archive is held at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, Tucson.