Lucien Ballard, the cinematographer best known for his collaboration with directors Sam Peckinpah and Josef von Sternberg, was born in Miami, Oklahoma. Ballard became a wanderer after dropping out of the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania and the University of Oklahoma, journeying to China in search of opportunity. When he returned to the United States after not finding any, Ballard gained employment in the lumber business, working in a mill sawing trees and surveying land. Lucien Ballard died near his Rancho Mirage, California, home in a car accident on October 1, 1988. He was 80 years old.