Tony Kelly
December 13, 1929 –  November 17, 2015

 

Max Kellymax@maxkelly.com
Clare Kellyclareangelakelly@sbcglobal.net
Mike Kelly mikekelly@mikekellyphotography.com

 

 

 

Memorial Service

Arrangements are still being worked out for a memorial service and exhibit of Tony's work. As soon as final date and location are confirmed, information will be posted here. You can also sign up to recieve info via email. Feel free to contact me with any other questions max@maxkelly.com

We can update you with memorial service info via email

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Cards

Cards for the family may be sent to
C. Kelly, 823 Colfax, Evanston, IL.60201


Donations

For The Arts
Tony spent much time at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, on the Arts Council, attending performances and jogging around Noyes field. Tony delighted in watching kids practice circus arts as part of the Actors’ Gymnasium in Noyes field. He wished all kids could have access to such inspiring and imaginative activities. Donations for scholarships for low-income youth to the Actors’ Gymnasium would delight Tony and can be made at www.actorsgymnasium.org/support-us/

Please indicate TONY KELLY on donation form.

For Justice Reform
When founder of Equal Justice Initiative, Bryan Stevenson, spoke at Evanston Township High School, Tony heard his own deep passion for justice reform echoed. Help sustain Tony’s dream for justice reform at www. eji.org

Please indicate TONY KELLY on donation form.


 

Evanston Review / Chicago Tribune
Bob Seidenburg
December 8, 2015

Tony Kelly, award-winning photojournalist and Evanston resident, dies at 85

Evanston resident Tony Kelly worked 45 years as an award-winning photojournalist and commercial photographer, capturing everything from the stillness of a Chicago snowstorm to the elegance of the massive trestle bridges that line the waterways along the Calumet and Chicago rivers.

His aerial photograph of the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory was placed on display at the Smithsonian Institute, with the curator of the exhibit, Paul Forman, taking note of Kelly's "superlative" work.

After retiring from photography, he brought his passion to local issues, helping run a fledgling Evanston newspaper and working for social justice causes.

Kelly, a resident of the Ebenezer-Primm Towers senior living residence, 1001 Emerson St., died suddenly Tuesday, Nov. 17 of an apparent heart failure, family members said. Only the day before, he had been making his rounds in town on his cherished three-wheel Schwinn bicycle, they said.

He was 85.

Born in Rock Island, Ill., Kelly was the son of illustrator James Kelly of Davenport, Iowa, and Angela Searle Kelly of Rock Island.

At a young age, he moved with his family to New York City, where his father worked as an illustrator, recalled Tony's son Max in both emails and follow-up interviews. Tony attended high school in New York and later American University in Washington, D.C., family members said.

While in New York, his family lived in an apartment across the street from Gracie Mansion, occupied by then-mayor Fiorello La Guardia and his family, said Max Kelly.

It was during his time in New York that "boats of almost any size became a romance to Tony," recalled Max.

"In high school, he did an extensive report on Hell's Gate, the passageway between the East River and the Long Island Sound," Max said. "As a young man, he outfitted a canoe with an outrigger and kept it on City Island and would carry it atop his car to put in at any watery spot: East River, Hudson River, Mississippi, Rock River or Lake Michigan."

"One of his greatest maritime adventures was a year spent working as a Merchant Marine, traveling between New York City and Rio de Janeiro," he said.

In the mid-1950s, Kelly returned to the Midwest, married Margaret Mirfield and started a family.

Beginning as a reporter for the Davenport Times in Iowa, Kelly's passion for photography soon emerged and propelled him into a career as a photojournalist and commercial photographer, Max said.

"One of his first assignments there was to report on a girl with prosthetic hands," he said. "When his supervisor gave him the assignment, he also gave Tony a three-minute lesson in using the classic news camera, a Speed Graphic. Tony's resulting photo won him that year's Iowa AP award for best photograph."

By the 1970s, with most of Kelly's work based in Chicago, he moved his family back to Evanston.

During a 45-year career as a photographer, he worked for Bell & Howell, Inland Steel, John Deere, McDonald's, Sears and General Electric, among others, Max said.

His photojournalism credits included the New York Times, the Paris Match, Newsweek, the London Times, family members said.

Kelly returned to journalism in the 1990s, operating a local Evanston newspaper, The Clarion, where he not only reported, wrote, photographed and illustrated articles, but where he also helped launch several other people's careers in journalism, Max said.

At the paper and beyond, "one of Tony's deepest concerns was justice reform," said Max, noting his father wrote extensively on "the immorality of the criminal justice system and other causes."

He was a board member of Citizen's Alert, which worked against torture and brutality in the Chicago Police Department, his son said.

Max noted that when Kelly was a little boy, his father wrote a book for him called "The What If I Boy."

"The book's title and theme would perfectly describe the trajectory and personal ethos of Tony's existence," Max said. "His interests were broad and his pleasure in life's beauty, expansive. His ability to influence others to see life through his unique lens was present through the last moments of his life."

Kelly is survived by sons Mike and Max Kelly; daughter Clare Kelly; sister Cinda Kelly; partner Turid Pedersen; five grandchildren; his ex-wife Margaret Kelly; and niece, Caitlin Graham.

The Kelly family is planning a memorial. Information will about the memorial will be posted at www.tonykelly.com.


Photo by Mike kelly




Evanston Round Table
December 4, 2015

Tony Kelly Dec. 13, 1930 - Nov. 17, 2015

Tony Kelly was born in Rock Island, Illinois, son of illustrator James Kelly of Davenport, Iowa, and Angela Searle Kelly of Rock Island, Ill. The family moved when he was very young to New York City where his father worked as an illustrator. Tony attended the small, progressive school, Walt Whitman, McBurney High School and American University in Washington, D.C. His family lived in an apartment in New York City across from Gracie Mansion whose resident Mayor was Fiorello LaGuardia. Tony became a lifelong friend of the Mayor’s son Eric and more recently, Eric’s daughter Katherine. Several of Tony’s beloved literary works included his childhood experiences accompanying Mayor LaGuardia.

Boats of any size were always a great romance to Tony. In high school he did an extensive report on Hell’s Gate, the passageway between the East River and the Long Island Sound. As a young man, he outfitted a canoe with an outrigger and kept it on City Island and would carry atop his car to put in at any watery spot: East River, Hudson River, Mississippi, Rock River or Lake Michigan. One of his greatest maritime adventures was a year spent working as a Merchant Marine, travelling between New York City and Rio de Janeiro.

In the mid 1950s Tony returned to the Midwest, married Margaret Mirfield and started a family. Until the 1970s the family lived in the home of his great-grandfather, Elhanen Searle. Searle was in the first graduating class at Northwestern University and delivered the commencement speech, The Philosophy of Civil Liberties (an important theme in Tony’s life). Tony’s grandson, and Elhanen’s great, great grandson, Gustavo Delgado, is presently attending Northwestern. Searle worked in Abraham Lincoln’s law offices, fought in the Civil War, was one of the founders of the University of Arkansas and finally went on to become a justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court, as well a Judge in Chicago and Rock Island, Il.

Beginning as a reporter for the Davenport Times, Tony’s passion for photography soon emerged and propelled him into a career as a photojournalist and commercial photograher. By the 1970s, most of Tony’s work was based in Chicago and he moved his family to Evanston. During his 45-year career as a photojournalist and commercial photographer he worked for many US corporations, including John Deere, Alcoa, Inland Steel, Bell & Howell, Marcor, US Steel, Jack Daniels, Sears, and General Electric. His photo-journalism credits include Life Magazine, Paris Match, Ebony, Newsweek, Smithsonian Institute, AP, UPI, The Des Moines Register, Editor & Publisher Magazine, The Chicago Journalist and ASMP, USIA, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, London Times, and Des Moines Register.

By the late 1980s he retired from photography and taught and lectured at Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism , Columbia College in Chicago, The Rochester Institute of Technology, and American University. He continued to exhibit his work in Chicago and New York. Tony’s Aerial photo of the Fermi Accelerator Laboratory currently hangs in the Smithsonian Institute.

In the 1990s he began pursuing another one of his longstanding interests, journalism and writing. Over the years he wrote vignettes from his life and often illustrated his poems with whimsical line drawings. Tony took over a fledgling local Evanston newspaper The Clarion where he not only reported, wrote, photographed and illustrated articles, but where he also helped launch several other people’s careers in journalism.

One of Tony’s deepest concerns was Justice reform. Tony wrote extensively on the immorality of the criminal justice system, Incentive for Injustice and other causes which appear on his blog www. tonykellyjournalism.wordpress.com.

He was a Board Member of Citizen’s Alert, which spearheaded the movement against torture and brutality in the Chicago Police department under Jon Burge. Those concerns were frequently a part of the reportage of The Clarion.

Another of his abiding passions was his family. He was always at the ready to aid and abet the dreams of his children and grandchildren. He delighted in hearing of their adventures and was very proud of the their accomplishments. Just before his passing he was looking forward to the family’s annual Thanksgiving gathering.

Maybe attempting to encompass all of that full, lively life, or maybe because of an Irish gene, Tony loved to tell stories. He had stories from every lap of his life. They embodied the scope of his vision, funny, ironic, amazing, heroic, those reflecting an era, those reflecting the human condition. It was almost shocking to realize the range of his adventures and interests.

When Tony was a little boy his father wrote a book for him, The What If I Boy, the perfect theme of his life. His interests were broad, his pleasure in life expansive and his plans for what he would like to do next were present through the last moments of his life.

Tony is survived by sons Mike Kelly, Max Kelly, daughter Clare Kelly, sister Cinda Kelly, partner Turid Pedersen, grandchildren Forrest, Nicolas, Mikaylo, Gustavo, and Adelle, and ex-wife Margaret Kelly and niece, Caitlin Graham.

The Arts
Tony spent much time at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, on the Arts Council, attending performances and jogging around Noyes field. Tony delighted in watching kids practice circus arts as part of the Actors’ Gymnasium in Noyes field. He wished all kids could have access to such inspiring and imaginative activities. Donations for scholarships for low-income youth to the Actors’ Gymnasium would delight Tony and can be made at www.actorsgymnasium.org/support-us/
Please indicate TONY KELLY on donation form.

Justice Reform
When founder of Equal Justice Initiative, Bryan Stevenson, spoke at Evanston Township High School, Tony heard his own deep passion for justice reform echoed. Help sustain Tony’s dream for justice reform at www. eji.org

Please indicate TONY KELLY on donation form.

Memorial service information will soon be posted at www.tonykelly.com

Cards for the family may be sent to
C. Kelly, 823 Colfax, Evanston, IL.60201

 


Photo by Max Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Tony's Media Commentary

 

 

 

Contact
tel. 847.491.1998  email tonykelly2000@gmail.com fax (8
47) 864-0489–email

lone star mississippi

The Lone Star And Her Crew
Forever On The Mississippi

A Photo Archive
See Photos

Photojournalism credits include: PBS, ABC, Life, Newsweek, Smithsonian Inst., Ebony, and Paris Match. World wide via AP and UPI and major photo essays in publications of the U.S.Information Agency.

Overseas for the Universities of Notre Dame and Northwestern and Corporations including Deere and Alcoa.

Photography as fine art in venues in New York and Chicago.

Writing credits: The DesMoines Register, Editor & Publisher Magazine, AP, UPI, Ford Motor Co., Dunn and Bradstreet, The Chicago Journalist, and Chicago Magazine.

Teaching and lecture: include Northwestern U, Columbia College Chicago, American U, Notre Dame, U. of Washington and R.I.T.

Education: Extensive studies of modern art, NYC. Studies with modernist painter Victor Candell at Brooklyn Museum Art School. Writing studies at American U. and University of Illinois.

 


How the Sun-Times Performed a Photographic Self-Lobotomy By Tony Kelly
Go To Story

Tony Kelly Blog

Feature: Forever on The Mississippi

Portfolio: Photojournalism Work

Portfolio: Work for Organizations

Teaching: General Program

Teaching: Class Series

Teaching: Lecture Series