Twelve years ago, on the afternoon of Saturday 26th, 2011, Presidential Photographer and Chilean Air Force NCO (R) Leopoldo Víctor Vargas passed away in Santiago de Chile, at age 78.
As Presidential Photographer (between 1964-1973) at the Chilean seat of government, La Moneda Palace, he made the picture winner of the World Press Photo of the Year 1973. Leo Vargas also made the Presidential Official Portrait of late President Salvador Allende, at the very beginning of his presidency in 1970. Therefore, he is the author of the two most important pictures of Allende’s government.
And, after the 1973 Coup d’état, at the Diego Portales building, he shot the first official portrait of each one of the four members of the Military Junta– Army Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Admiral José Toribio Merino, Aviation Gen. Gustavo Leigh, and Carabineros Gen. César Mendoza.
One of his pictures is considered one of the 100 most influential images of all time, and counted among the photos that changed the world. Also, it’s acknowledged as a universal icon of photography.
But above of all of his life achievements, he was a humble God-fearing man, a dear husband, father, and grandfather. Today we commemorate his death.
His widow, and family members, with deep love and respect, look forward to seeing him again on the fast-approaching day of resurrection. We all missed him very much. Agape.