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Chester Kessler was born in New Melle, Missouri on May 6, 1919. He studied photography at the Art Center School and later film making and animation at the University of Southern California. During his life he completed four films and captured portraits of celebrated artists, such as Kenneth Patchen, Jonathan William, Bob Kaufman, David Stacton, and Kenneth Anger. He died in 1979, on his 60th birthday.