As official photographer for the Paris Match for 40 years, Jean-Claude Sauer has lived life with his camera in hand. First and foremost, he was a photojournalist, covering numerous conflicts from Algeria and Afghanistan to Biafra and Iraq, as well as Vietnam, where he spent several months during 1965-66, and again in 1968 during the Tet Offensive. Many of his Vietnam images were published in Life Magazine and exposed the horrors and inhumanity of war, helping to turn the tide of public opinion about the United States’ involvement in Vietnam’s civil war.
As a counterpoint to the tragic events of war, Jean-Claude Sauer photographed the runways of Yves Saint Laurent’s fashion, Brigitte Bardot nude in a shower, Peter Sellers and Britt Ecklund, and many other celebrities whose public image was cemented into the cultural psyche through his lens. He met with, photographed, and befriended some of the greatest personalities of the time, including De Gaulle, Hemingway, Yasser Arafat, Richard Nixon, and King Juan Carlos of Spain.
His last exhibition, The Dangerous Summer, was held at the Galerie Huit in Arles, France (2012). He, with his camera, recorded much of the history of the 20th Century before succumbing to complications in January of 2013 from his exposure to Agent Orange, the herbicide and defoliant used by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War.