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Cal Poly Journalism Alumnus Publishes a Photobook on World War II

By Sophia Lincoln

75 Years Later-Warbirds, Airman & Veterans of World War II

Cal Poly journalism alumnus Thomas Kelsey recently published his latest book 75 Years Later-Warbirds, Airman and Veterans of World War II, a 30-years-long project featuring interviews with veterans, original photographs and a narrative of national unity during a time of crisis.

“What makes the book even more special is it shows how Americans came together as a country during a time of worldwide crisis, just like today,” Kelsey wrote in an email.

According to Kelsey, the book also includes some of his own personal family history and even that of San Luis Obispo.

“The book has its roots traced to when my dad did his basic training for the US Army at Camp San Luis Obispo in 1944 before being shipped to the European theatre of warfare,” Kelsey said.

Kelsey is a practiced photojournalist and has worked for nine different newspapers since graduating Cal Poly, including the Los Angeles Times and Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colorado.

Kelsey has also received numerous awards and recognition for his work, including Picture of the Year for the National Press Photographers Association, the California Press Photographers Association, the Colorado Press Photographers Association and the Greater Los Angeles Press Photographers Association.

Kelsey has photographed six presidents and covered noteworthy events including the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Earthquake in 1989 and two papal visits of Pope John Paul II. He has also worked in sports photography, photographing four World Series, including the Dodgers and the Padres.

“My career started at Cal Poly and has taken a long and winding road and I wouldn't trade it for anything,” Kelsey wrote in an email.

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