Legendary Life magazine staff photographer Ralph (Rudy) Crane, a colorful character who traveled with a stepladder and usually had three cameras strung around his neck, died of cancer Wednesday in Geneva. He was 74.
The German-born Crane, who drew as much attention as the fine pictures he shot over several decades, had retired to Switzerland years ago but continued to work for Time Inc. publications.
He was known as a versatile photographer at home in any setting–whether chronicling the diversity and magnificence of California for a special issue when the state became the most populous in the nation in the late 1950s, or focusing on a Mississippi plantation to illustrate desegregation in the Deep South. He was equally adept at shooting color and black-and-white, news, still lifes and personalities.