Gianni Giansanti
AWARD WINNER: Gianni Giansanti garnered a World Press Photo first prize for reportage on a day in the life of John Paul II.
(Ada Masella / Associated Press)

Gianni Giansanti

Honored photographer

Gianni Giansanti, 52, an award-winning Italian photographer who snapped candid portraits of Pope John Paul II during his pilgrimages, died Wednesday in Rome after battling bone cancer, his colleagues said.

Giansanti was a 21-year-old freelancer just breaking into photography during the years of Italian domestic terrorism when he shot the 1978 image that for many captured the horror of that era -- the bullet-riddled body of Aldo Moro, the kidnapped former Italian Christian Democrat premier, in the trunk of a parked car.

He furnished a black-and-white photo of the scene to the Associated Press, which transmitted it around the world. His photos of the body helped him get a contract with the Sygma photo agency.

Giansanti’s career seemed linked to the life of Polish-born John Paul, who was elected pontiff in 1978.

Giansanti was among the first foreign photographers to scramble into Poland during the imposition of martial law there by the then-Communist regime in the early years of John Paul’s papacy.

Giansanti’s awards included a World Press Photo first prize in 1988 for reportage on a day in the life of John Paul. Other honored work included reportage on famine in Somalia in 1993.

Harvey Geller

Lyricist and magazine exec

Harvey Geller, 86, a lyricist and former vice president and West Coast editor of Cash Box magazine, died March 12 at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Woodland Hills after a brief illness, said his daughter, Alix.

During a music career that he began as a song plugger in New York City in the mid-1950s, Geller also worked as a columnist, feature writer, reviewer and sales executive for Billboard magazine and Daily Variety. He served for many years on various selection committees of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.

As a lyricist, Geller saw his songs recorded by groups such as the Kingston Trio, Brothers Four and River City Ramblers. Among his compositions were “Blue Water Line” and “Charleston Town.”

Born in New York City on June 29, 1922, he earned a bachelor’s degree in English at New York University and served in the Army during World War II.

-- times staff and wire reports

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