Dezo Hoffmann was born on May 24, 1918, in Banska Stiavnica, Slovakia. After studying journalism in Prague, he worked at Twentieth Century Fox in Paris as a photojournalist. During Mussolini's invasion of Abyssinia he was sent to make a documentary of the invasion. After returning from Africa he was sent to Spain to film the 1936 People's Olympiad (a protest against the official Olympic games in Berlin under Hitler's propaganda). Soon after he arrived in Spain, the civil war broke out and Dezo found himself on the barricades. In this period he met personalities such as Ernest Hemingway and Robert Capa. Allegedly the three men formed an inseparable trio.
After the war Dezo remained in London, working for various newspapers and magazines. In 1955 he began his collaboration with Record Mirror magazine, which was the start of his career photographing show-business celebrities. In 1962 he went to Liverpool to shoot an unknown but promising group - The Beatles. Mutual appreciation and sympathy led to a long-lasting relationship between Dezo and the group. Dezo also made a 8mm color film during this first Beatles assignment, which is likely the first-ever color film taken of them and also features many scenes actually shot by the band members. Paul McCartney reportedly declared Dezo the world's best photographer.
During the following years Dezo's famous photos of the Beatles attracted the attention of many other stars. Over his long career, he shot photograph approximately one million photographs of countless pop musicians and showbiz personalities.
Dezo died on March 29, 1986 at age 73 in London.