Kahlo was born in Pforzheim, Grand Duchy of Baden, German Empire (now in Baden-Württemberg, Germany), the son of jeweller Jakob Heinrich Kahlo and Henriette Kaufmann. Frida Kahlo maintained that he was of Hungarian Jewish descent. One recent book, Fridas Vater: Der Fotograf Guillermo Kahlo by Gaby Franger and Rainer Huhle, asserts that "despite the legend propagated by Frida," Guillermo did not have Jewish-Hungarian roots, but was born to Protestant parents and "came from families accommodated in Frankfurt and Pforzheim."
He attended the University of Nuremberg. His father paid him to travel to Mexico in 1891 as he did not get on with his stepmother. In Mexico, he changed his name from Wilhelm to Guillermo.
In 1901 he set up a photographic studio, working for El Mundo Ilustrado and Semanario Ilustrado. He was commissioned by the government to do architectural photographs, probably his best work. He also took photographs of churches with other photographers for a six-volume survey in the 1920s.
He married Maria Cardena in 1895. The night she died giving birth to their third child, he asked Antonio Calderón for his daughter Matilde's hand in marriage. After the marriage, Kahlo sent his and Maria's daughters away to be raised in a convent.
He is played by Roger Rees in the movie Frida.
Read more about this topic: Guillermo Kahlo
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