Photographer John Phillips aboard boat posing in front of LIFE flag he hoisted in hopes of getting pictures of a Greek royal cruise from which press was barred. (Photo by John Phillips/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Photographer John Phillips aboard boat posing in front of LIFE flag he hoisted in hopes of getting pictures of a Greek royal cruise from which press was barred. (Photo by John Phillips/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Marshal Tito, then a Yugoslav resistance leader, was holed up in a cave in 1944 wearing a uniform made out of a horse blanket when John Phillips (1914-1996) arrived to do a portrait. He integrated himself into Tito’s life so completely that he once followed the revolutionary to the bathroom. He was quite easy to work with—except when it came to his dog. One time Tito insisted, “‘You watch my dog. He jumps.’ He had Tigar belly-flop in the water. He said, ‘Maybe you better get another picture.’ That was the only time he worried. He was so proud of Tigar’s jumping.” Once, to get pictures in Nazi-occupied Austria, Phillips rented a fancy car and put swastikas on the side. Phillips, who left LIFE five years after the war, said, “During the war, nobody could give us instructions because the movement orders were secret. You went along, dreaming up your stories on your own.” 

Adapted from The Great LIFE Photographers

Execution of Prime Minister Laszlo Bardossy at Marko Place prison. (Photo by John Phillips/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Execution of Prime Minister Laszlo Bardossy at Marko Place prison. (Photo by John Phillips/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Terrified young Jewish girl Rachel Levy, 7, fleeing from a street with burning buildings as the Arabs sack the Holy City after its surrender during Palestinian Civil war. (Photo by John Phillips/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Terrified young Jewish girl Rachel Levy, 7, fleeing from a street with burning buildings as the Arabs sack the Holy City after its surrender during Palestinian Civil war. (Photo by John Phillips/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Yugoslavian infantrymen and an officer dancing the conga-like Kolo while singing. (Photo by John Phillips/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Yugoslavian infantrymen and an officer dancing the conga-like Kolo while singing. (Photo by John Phillips/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

More Like This

Astronaut Malcolm S. Carpenter and his wife reading with their children. (Photo by Ralph Morse/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Ralph Morse

MIT student using a MAC computer for project study of artificial intelligence. (Photo by Leonard Mccombe/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Leonard McCombe

People walking along the shore of Hydra, Greece. (Photo by James Burke/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

James Burke

Pitcher Satchel Paige with fans, New York City, 1941. (Photo by George Strock/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

George Strock

Giant sable antelopes roaming the Luanda game preserve. (Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Carlo Bavagnoli

Dr. Arnold Gesell (C) studying baby at Yale's child psychology lab. (Photo by Carl Mydans/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Herbert Gehr