Margaret Bourke-White – LIFE Magazine Photographer

margaret bourke-white

Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971)

Jersey gem: From Bound Brook

Margaret Bourke-White was one of four photographers chosen for the original staff of LIFE magazine, and her photo of Fort Peck Dam in Montana appeared on its inaugural cover in 1936. She was considered the magazine’s star photographer during WWII and also sustained her career as an official U.S. Air Force photographer.

Bourke-White graduated from Cornell in 1927 and immediately opened a photography studio in her apartment. She specialized in landscape and architectural photographs. Her first clients were fellow Cornell alumni. Around ten years later, Bourke-White published her classic Great Depression photo-essay “You Have Seen Their Faces.”

Her career officially began in 1929 when she joined the staff of the newly established Fortune magazine. Her shots of Chicago’s meatpacking industry were included in the lead story of the first issue.

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