Born August 6 1920, Hungary, died 28 April 2008 Los Angeles, California.
József S. Mikó (Joseph S. Miko) Joseph Miko was a cinematographer in Hungary when the 1956 revolution against the Soviet occupation broke out. Miko grabbed the opportunity to film the revolution in hopes of getting the films out of Hungary so the rest of the world could see the brutality of the Soviet Union.
The films Miko shot of the revolution were smuggled out of Hungary in the U.S. diplomatic pouch. In return for providing the American government copies of the films for intelligent purposes, the Miko family was granted passage on the U S Military airlift to the United States.
After working on a couple of low budget movies with Vilmos Zsigmond such as The Sadist, Joseph Miko left the industry and became a successful businessman in Santa Monica, California. 80% of the movies that exist in the world of the 1956 Hungarian revolution were shot by Miko who has since donated them back to Hungary. The films are archived as “The Miko Collection” as part of the official historical record of that event. They have been featured on numerous television shows including The Twentieth Century with Walter Cronkite and the History channel’s Caught on Film and in recently completed documentaries Freedom's Fury and Torn from the Flag.
Joseph S. Miko and cinematographer, Laszlo Kovacs, were also close friends after they both emigrated to the U.S. in 1956. Regrettably their friendship became strained over the years after Kovacs tried to claim credit for the footage of the Hungarian revolution shot by Miko. However, the original Agfa stock footage is held in storage by the Miko family and is available for authentication.
After the restoration of democracy in Hungary, he was awarded the Hungarian Government’s Award for Excellence in Achievement and the Hero of Freedom Award as well as the Cross of the Order of Merit.