Dean joined Life in 1947 after experience as a press agent for the Ringling Brothers Circus and as an Air Force photographer in World War II.
He was based in Paris for 25 years where he covered the Suez crisis and shot pictures of royal weddings, popes, princes and sheikhs. On the way to his new assignment in 1956 on board the Ile de France, he got a front row seat at the sinking of the Andrea Doria.
Other subjects included the Prince of Liechtenstein, photographed balancing on a Bongo Board on a St. Moritz skiing holiday, and Noel Coward in full evening dress in the desert.
Dean shot 52 Life covers, starting with a photograph of Ringling Brothers clown Lou Jacobs posing with a giraffe.
His awards included a Papal Prize in 1965, presented to him by Pope Paul VI. His first name was misspelled "Lommis" on the citation, which praised him for the "plasticity of the image and the relief of the color, which translates in visible terms the idea of the Church in movement in the light of grace and the sanctifying experience."
"Why, that's exactly what I had in mind," Dean told the pope.