Seawell was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1916 and studied photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology, graduating with honours in 1940. He served with the Army Signal Corps in Los Angeles making nearly fifty training films.
He joined the leading West Coast photographer Paul Hesse and started taking photos for movie studios and fan magazines. Seawell also took photos of other public figures such as President Lyndon B. Johnson and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, as well as photos for album covers for well-known singers such as Johnny Mathis and Peggy Lee. He also took the memorable photo of Sam Cooke for his final studio album, Ain't That Good News, in 1964.
- "Wallace Seawell, 90, a Master at Shooting Stars, Is Dead", New York Times, June 2, 2007
- "Hollywood photographer Wallace Seawell dies at 90", Associated Press via San Jose Mercury News, 3 June 2007
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