Rolf Gillhausen


Born in Cologne in 1922, died in Hamburg in 2004.

Training as a machine fitter as of 1937, afterwards engineering studies (abandoned due to the war). Combatant in the war and captivity as a prisoner of war.

As of 1947 self-taught photographer, 1948 to 1951 photo reporter at the Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung in Heidelberg and assistent of Fred Ihrt. 1951 to 1956 photo journalist at Associated Press in Bonn.

Photo reporter at the STERN from 1956 to 1964; among other things photo-journalistic pieces of the Hungarian uprising of 1956, from China and from the GDR. As of 1964 in charge of designing the STERN’s covers. 1965 to 1981 vice editor in chief and editor in charge of the image design and journalistic concept of the STERN. In addition 1976 to 1978 founder and editor in chief of GEO. 1981 to 1984 editor in chief of the STERN.


  • 95 medals of the Art Director Club
  • Appointment to honorary member of the ADC (1985)
  • 35 gold medals for STERN cover design

More extensive texts on his life and work:

Selection of photographs