Nagao is best known for his photograph of Otoya Yamaguchi assassinating Japanese Socialist Party politician Inejiro Asanuma. At the time Nagao was a cameraman working for Mainichi Shimbun; Hisatake Abo, Nagao's picture editor, told Nagao to cover a debate at Hibiya Hall. As Yamaguchi challenged Asanuma, Nagao changed the focus to fifteen feet from ten feet.
Nagao left the newspaper in 1962 and became a freelance photographer.
Nagao was discovered collapsed in his bathroom on May 2, 2009. It is believed he died of natural causes.
- John Faber, Great News Photos and the Stories Behind Them, 2nd ed. (New York: Dover, 1978), no.58, p.126 (Google Books).
- Untitled page about this photograph, "In pictures: 50 years of photojournalism", BBC
- "Japan's first Pulitzer Prize winning photo journalist dies". The Mainichi Daily News. May 4, 2009.
- Faber, John. Great News Photos and the Stories Behind Them. 2nd ed. New York: Dover, 1978. ISBN 0-486-23667-6. Google Books.
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