The Mazziotta Collection, Photography
John Mazziotta was born in New York City in 1917, but grew up in Massillon, Ohio. His photographic career began while stationed at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas. After World War II, he decided to make Texas home, and was hired by the Fort Worth Star Telegram as a staff photographer. It was there that he met the woman he would come to love and wed: fellow staff photographer, Peggie Spencer. After marrying in 1951, both John and Peggie moved to Dallas to work for The Dallas Morning News. In 1960, John accepted the position of Chief Photographer at the Dallas Times Herald, where he remained until his retirement in the late 1970s. During his stint as Chief Photographer in the sixties and seventies, he covered just about any luminary that came through Dallas from the Beatles to President Kennedy arriving at Love Field Airport, and the Cowboys’ first Super Bowl Championship. John’s photographic passion was sports. When not on assignment, he pursued any and all work related to football —his beloved Dallas Cowboys in particular. Throughout his career, John was the recipient of numerous awards from the Associated Press, Texas United Press International Editors Association, the Press Club of Dallas, and Life Magazine. He was also commissioned to do all of Texas Governor John Connally’s personal portraits. A true Texas icon.
Peggie Spencer Mazziotta’s career as a photographer spanned over 40 years, ranging in subjects as disparate as world leaders & Bedouin camel herders. Peggie studied photography at the Art Center in Los Angeles. Upon graduating, she worked for the Fort Worth Star Telegram as a staff photographer. In 1950, Peggie won third place in a National Press Photographers Association Contest for a photo of Korean War soldiers — she was the first woman to ever place in the news category. While working at the Dallas Times in 1960, Peggie won Political Picture of the Year in a competition sponsored by the Missouri School of Journalism, Encyclopedia Britannica, and The National Press Photographers Association. The award winning image captured a candid moment between Senators John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, and a Kennedy aide. Throughout the sixties Peggie continued with special assignments while maintaining ongoing commercial clients such as Neiman Marcus, the Miss Teenage America Pageant, the State Fair of Texas, and the U.S. State Department.
"[John and Peggie] shared an artistic eye, a strong work ethic, and a fondness for the adrenaline rush —characteristics that made their work regular front-page material." — Anne Dingus, author for Texas Monthly.
"Peggie Mazziotta was a wonderful photographer with an exceptional eye. Her images of individuals, like Helen Keller, capture the soul and describe the person in a way that words never could. Peggie was a pioneer as the first female photojournalist in Dallas, and her timeless images will serve as her legacy for generations to come." — Dealey Campbell of the Dallas Historical Society.