(1904 - 1971)
“The camera is a remarkable instrument. Saturate
yourself with your subject and the camera will all but take you by the
Aggressive and relentless in her pursuit of pictures,
Bourke-White had the knack of being at the right place at the right
time. She was the premiere female industrial photographer, getting her
start around 1927 in Cleveland, Ohio, at the Otis Steel Company.
Margaret Bourke-White is a woman of many firsts. She
was a forerunner in the newly emerging field of photojournalism, and
was the first female to be hired as such. She was the first photographer
for Fortune magazine, in 1929. In 1930, she was the first Western
photographer allowed into the Soviet Union. Henry Luce hired her as
the first female photojournalist for LIFE Magazine, soon after
its creation in 1935, and one of her photographs adorned its first cover.
She was the first female war correspondent, and the first to be allowed
to work in combat zones during World
War II, and one of the first photographers to enter and document
the death camps.
She made history with the publication of her haunting
photos of the Depression in the book You Have Seen Their Faces,
a collaboration with then husband-to-be Erskine Caldwell. She wrote
six books about her international travels.
Sources: American Jewish
Historical Society Newsletter Fall/Winter 2003