Born to Vasil Mili and Viktori Cekani, came to the United States in 1923. Fifteen years later, he was a photographer for Life (a relationship that continued until his death in 1984), and his assignments took him to the Riviera (Picasso); to Prades, France (Pablo Casals in exile); to Israel (Adolf Eichmann in captivity); to Florence, Athens, Dublin, Berlin, Venice, Rome, and Hollywood to photograph celebrities and artists, sports events, and concerts, and sculptures and architecture.
Working with Harold Eugene Edgerton of MIT, Gjon Mili was a pioneer since the 1930s in the use of photoflash to capture a sequence of actions in one photograph. Trained as an engineer and self-taught in photography, Gjon Mili was the first to use electronic flash and stroboscopic light to create photographs that had more than scientific interest. [Citation needed] Since the late 1930s, his pictures of dance, athletics, and musical and theatrical performances have astonished and delighted viewers,  revealing the beautiful intricacy and graceful flow of movement too rapid or too complex for the eye to discern. His portraits of artists, musicians, and other notables are less visually spectacular, but equally masterful.
In 1939, Mili became a freelance photographer working for Life. In the course of more than four decades, thousands of his pictures were published by Life as well as other publications. In the mid-1940s he was an assistant to the photographer Edward Weston. He died in Stamford, Connecticut, in 1984.
Gjon Mili is the one photographer who has formed our contemporary visual understanding of movement, both in the direct example of his pictures and in the influence his work has had on all action photographers who have come after him.
His book Photographs and Recollections is a summary of his fifty years of work in photography.