• IdentificationMSKond13
  • Title
    • Laszlo Kondor photograph collection MSKond13
    • Kondor, Laszlo photograph collection
  • PublisherSpecial Collections
  • RepositorySpecial Collections
  • Physical Description3.0 Linear feet
  • Date
    • Bulk, 1972-1976
    • 1972-circa 2005
  • AbstractLaszlo Kondor was the official photographer for Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley from 1972 to 1976. The collection includes Kondor's photographic prints, negatives, and contact sheets of people, places, and events connected with the mayor. The collection also includes a small number of images of Mayor Michael Bilandic and Mayor Richard M. Daley.
  • OriginationKondor, László

Laszlo Kondor was the official photographer for Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley from 1972 to 1976. He was Daley's first, and only, official photographer. He traveled with the mayor to press conferences and political events, enjoying what he called "a relatively free hand covering Daley." Kondor later commented that the mayor "was always on the go, visiting somebody, doing something" and described him as "a very businesslike person" and "good with people." At the same time, Kondor said, the mayor was a "terribly private man" who seldom let city business intrude into his home life. In 2013, Kondor donated his collection of photographs of the mayor to the University of Illinois at Chicago Library Special Collections Department, saying that it "really belongs to you, the people of Chicago, not just me." (All quotations cited in Levy)

Kondor's service to the mayor marked one episode in a long career in photography. Born in Hungary in 1940, he had fled that country in the wake of the unsuccessful uprising there against the Soviet Union in 1956. He commenced a career as a photojournalist in the mid-1960s after having studied international relations at the University of Chicago from 1961 to 1966. In that position, he documented such events as the riots occasioned by Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination and the protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, both in 1968. From around 1970 to 1972, he served as combat photographer for the United States Army and later for the Department of Army's Special Photographic Office. Shortly after Mayor Daley's death in December 1976, Kondor opened a commercial art studio that specialized in what the Chicago Magazine called "high-fashion photography." He still occasionally took on public projects. In 1979, for example, he took the official portrait of Mayor-elect Jane Byrne. Kondor occasionally presented exhibits of his works, such as a 1995 exhibit on "Vietnam: 20 Years Later, A Combat Photographer Remembers." In 1996, Kondor returned to his native Hungary, where he has documented the daily life of Hungarians and given occasional lectures.


Anonymous. "Laszlo Kondor Photographer," The Budapest Sun, January 30 – February 5 1997.

Anonymous. "The Vietnam War and the Hungarian Peace Keeping Mission: 'It Started 25 Years Ago." Hadimuzeum Apaitvany, 1998."

Anonymous. "Photog Irons Out Jane's Wrinkles." Chicago Magazine (July 1979).

Levy, Christy. "Former Mayoral Photographer Connects City History Through Images." News Center [University of Illinois at Chicago]. December 3, 2013. http://news.uic.edu/providing-connections-to-citys-history-through-images. Accessed June 12, 2014.

The Laszlo Kondor Photograph Collection contains black and white, and color prints taken by photographer Laszlo Kondor. The collection also includes 35 mm negatives with accompanying contact sheets. Topics of the images include Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, his political associates and contemporaries including local, national, and international figures, events in the city of Chicago, and images taken on the morning of the Mayor's death. Prints in the collection are arranged by topic.

Additional images by photographer Laszlo Kondor and images of Mayor Richard J. Daley's life and career taken by a variety of other photographers, can also be found in the Richard J. Daley Collection.

Laszlo Kondor Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago

  • Names
    • Chicago (Ill.). City Council.
    • Daley, Richard J., 1902-1976
    • Kondor, László
  • Geographic CoverageIllinois--Chicago.
  • Subject
    • Mayors--Election.
    • Municipal government.
    • Politics and government.