‘Godfather of Surf Photography’ Dies at 93

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Grannis’ work in the 1960s paved the way for water shots like this one. Courtesy of Flickr.

LeRoy Grannis, who The New York Times dubbed ‘the godfather of surf photography,’ died last week at his home in Hermosa Beach, California, according to He was born in Hermosa Beach in 1917 and was 93 years old when he died last Thrursday.

Critics throughout the industry regard him as an authority on portraying the sport, particularly during the transition that surfing went through in the 19602s. Considered a legend by the California Surf Museum, Grannis was inducted into the Huntington Beach Surfing Walk of Fame in 1999. He was also co-founder of Surfing Magazine.

Through many of his iconic black-and-white images, Grannis popularized surfing and the Southern-California way of life. He also helped design waterproof camera housings and pushed the limits of surf photography. Many of his images endure today.

In December 1998, Outside reviewed a collection of Grannis’ photography.

–Will Grant

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