Obituary: Les Banos / Spy against the Nazis, longtime sports photographer

My son and I heard Mr. Banos speak just last week at a Holocaust memorial ceremony.

There was one evening a few years ago when someone browsing the television channels could see Les Banos’ face and European accent in two unrelated historical documentaries demonstrating the breadth of an unusual life.

In one made by the BBC, the Hungarian-born Mr. Banos was interviewed about the German occupation of his homeland during World War II, when he served in the Hungarian Nazi SS division while a spy for the Allies’ OSS. He surreptitiously used his SS role to hide and assist Jews, enabling a number of them to avoid concentration camps.

In the other documentary for WQED, Mr. Banos, a longtime Pittsburgh sports photographer, talked about the life and death of his friend Roberto Clemente. He would have accompanied the Pirates star on his earthquake-relief plane that crashed in 1972 if not for the intervention of another iconic Pittsburgh sports moment: the Immaculate Reception. — Obituary: Les Banos / Spy against the Nazis, longtime sports photographer

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