Walter Chandoha was a prolific photographer, known especially for his photographs of animals and particularly of cats. Over his long career, his archive grew to more than 225,000 photographs including approximately 90,000 photographs of cats.

Chandoha was drafted into the army during World War II where he served as a press photographer and then as a combat photographer in the Pacific War theater. After the war, he attended NYU on the G.I. Bill. On his way home from classes one night during the winter, he found a kitten shivering in the snow. The kitten, Loco, became one of his favorite subjects. 

His enjoyment of photographing Loco prompted him to become a free-lance photographer specializing in photographs of cats. He was once quoted as saying, "Cats are my favorite animal subject because of their unlimited range of attitude, posture, expression, and coloration."

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His photographs were used on more than 300 magazine covers and in thousands of advertisements. He was the author of at least 34 books, including Walter Chandoha's Book of Kittens and Cats, and How to Photograph Cats, Dogs, and Other Animals, How to Shoot and Sell Animal Photos, All Kinds of Cats, and Mind Your Manners!.

Late in life, he moved to a farm in Clinton Township where he raised his family and where he died at the age of 98.