(1902 - 1995)
“Photography can be just a matter of luck.”\
Dmitri Kessel was born in the Russian Ukraine on his
family’s sugar plantation. His most prized possession as a kid
was his Brownie camera which his father gave him when he was 14. When
his family’s possessions were confiscated during the Bolshevik
Revolution, Dmitri managed to keep his camera, but this too was destroyed
when a Russian soldier broke it over Dmitri's head. He escaped from Russia via Rumania and immigrated to America in 1923.
During his 60-year career, Kessel worked as an industrial
photographer, a war correspondent and combat photographer, and a photo
essayist for LIFE. During World
War II, he sailed on convoy escorts in the North Atlantic, covered
the landing of American troops in the Aleutian Islands and the British
landing in Greece. He also
photographed the Greek civil war.
In later years, Kessel lived on the Yangtze River in China for seven months while
producing a photo essay for LIFE. He photographed the Andes Mountains
in South America and mining operations in Central Africa.
Kessel is world famous for the fidelity of his camera
recreations of great art, but was also a tough and adventurous new photographer.
Sources: American Jewish
Historical Society Newsletter Fall/Winter 2003