Art Shay (b. 1922) is a photographer and writer who has captured and helped define the American experience for the better part of seven decades. After flying 52 combat missions during World War II, Shay took a job as a staff reporter at Life magazine. There he wrote a hundred anonymous stories and did time in the New York, Washington, San Francisco and Chicago bureaus, finally leaving to pursue his first love, photography. He was soon shooting pictures freelance for Sports Illustrated, Time, Life, Fortune, the Saturday Evening Post, Forbes, Business Week, Parade and The New York Times Magazine.
A Bronx native who now resides in Deerfield, Illinois, Shay has photographed eight U.S. Presidents and other major influencers of the 20th century including such notable sports figures as Mohammad Ali, Vince Lombardi and Rocky Graziano. In addition to his remarkable photography, Shay has published more than 70 books on various subjects. He has also written weekly columns for various newspapers and authored several plays. His photography is sold at galleries and is in permanent collections of major museums including the National Portrait Gallery and The Art Institute of Chicago.
Since the end of 2010, he has been writing a weekly photography blog "From the Vault of Art Shay" on Chicagoist.