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Legendary Canadian photojournalist Boris Spremo dies at 81

Last Updated Aug 22, 2017 at 10:16 pm EDT

If his name isn’t familiar to you, his photos surely are.

Legendary Canadian photojournalist Boris Spremo has passed away at the age of 81. He was diagnosed with cancer in February.

The Toronto Star, where he worked for more than three decades before his retirement in 2000, confirmed his death in an article on Tuesday.

Previous to his lengthy and legendary tenure at The Star, Spremo spent four years at The Globe and Mail.

Spremo discusses his career and some of his most famous photos in the video below.

During his storied career, Spremo was lauded for his disarming nature, his sense of humour, and his tenacity on the job.

He photographed extensively in conflict zones, but his most famous photo may be his portrait of Pierre Trudeau, snapping an elastic behind his desk the day after winning the 1980 federal election.

Colleagues say Spremo had an uncanny ability to make his subjects feel at ease, allowing him to capture those rare and magical unguarded moments that eluded many of his peers.

A relaxed prime minister-elect Pierre Trudeau takes time out from a busy morning of meetings in Ottawa in 1980 to toy with a rubber band. He was awaiting transfer of power from the short-lived government of Joe Clark. Boris Spremo - Courtesy of The Toronto Star.
A relaxed prime minister-elect Pierre Trudeau takes time out from a busy morning of meetings in Ottawa in 1980 to toy with a rubber band. He was awaiting transfer of power from the short-lived government of Joe Clark. Boris Spremo – Courtesy of The Toronto Star.

In 1997 he became a member of the Order of Canada and was later inducted into the Canada News Hall of Fame.

He leaves behind his wife Ika, four daughters, seven grandchildren, and numerous friends, colleagues and admirers.

With files from The Toronto Star

Spremo photographed extensively in conflict zones. Courtesy of The Toronto Star.
Spremo photographed extensively in conflict zones. Courtesy of The Toronto Star.