Irving Klaw (1911 - 1970) did not set out in life to be a groundbreaking photographic pioneer. His start on this path was in the 1930's when Irving and his sister, Paula Kramer, opened a newstand on New York's 14th. st. In the course of this business, they discovered a large demand for art and photos of an adult nature, comprised mostly of images of women in high heels, garters, stockings and such. Sensing a lucrative market Irving and Paula began creating their own photographs, with Irving on the camera, and Paula managing the business.
Before long, Irving began shooting with popular burlesque dancers, like Tempest Storm, Lili St. Cyr, and Blaze Star. The business expanded to include bondage scenarios, first in cartoon form, and then in photos, and as the popularity grew Irving and Paula created a mailorder distribution system called Nutrix.
At this point Irving came to the attention of certain puritan elements of the US government, and what followed was many years of persecution on charges of obscenity.
Irving continued to shoot, working with top names, including Bettie Page, with whom he achieved his greatest notoriety. He also began filming small scale burlesque shows, with comedians, and striptease dancers. His "Tease-A-Rama" is a cult classic today.
By the 1960's the legal problems, spearheaded by then Attourney General Robert Kennedy, became more than Irving could handle. In 1966, battered and broke, he signed the whole company over to Paula Kramer, who carried on under the name Movie Star News.
Irving Klaw died four years later.