Fred Mayer is a Swiss photographer, photojournalist, publicist and author. He was born in 1933 in Lucerne, Switzerland where he attended school and had a three year apprenticeship with the master photographer Otto Pfeifer.
In 1950 he moved to Zurich where he worked as a photographer for more than six years for international press agencies like ATP, DPA, AFP and UPI producing daily news and reportages. In 1956 he married the Keystone photographer Ilse Günther and began to work as an independent photographer for Swiss press publications such as Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Schweizer Illustrierte and Die Woche.
In 1965 his collaboration with Magnum Photos started. He travelled to Indonesia, where he shot a reportage about the former Presiden Sukarno for Paris Match and The Observer. After this assignment, he was with Magnum for over 40 years as well as continuing press work for most important magazines and producing his own projects at the same time. Fred Mayer lives in Zurich, Switzerland.
Fred Mayer and his wife published more than 30 books on a variety of topics: Kleinstaat und Weltkirche: Vatikan was published in 1979. He further published books about the Russian orthodox church, Chakkar Polo, Japanese theatre and the Chinese Opera. In 2006 Fred Mayer received the Lifetime Award and Honorary Membership from the members of the Swiss Professional Photographers Association.