In a previous book on LIFE photographers, Stanley Rayfield describes Robert W. Kelley (1920-1991) as “first and foremost a current news cameraman” who was in his element in the thick of a fast-breaking news story.” Which means, of course, that Kelley frequently placed himself in harm’s way and found that his involvement went beyond his assignment. For example, in 1956 he delivered relief supplies to stranded flood victims in Mexico, then got an overhead shot of the flood. That same year he broke a leg in Tennessee as he leapt from a car to escape a mob of segregationists. A decade later he injured his shoulder in a fall in Vietnam. For Kelley, it was all in the line of work.
—Adapted from The Great LIFE Photographers