Margaret Bourke-White (1904 – 1971) was born to a father who was a naturalist, inventor, and more. From the founding of Life magazine until her retirement due to Parkinson’s Disease in 1969, she led a career of activity, energy, and adventure that most women could only dream of. She met influential people across the world wide spectrum of business, politics, and the military.
She photographed the first cover of Life magazine, November 23, 1936. This image of Fort Peck in Montana represented the coming decades of her life as she flittered in and out of war zones to capture pictures that Americans could not get any other way at the time.
No matter what it took the get the shot she needed, she would try it. Walking backwards, or hanging upside down from a rope under a helicopter, her life was one adventure after another. It was also a life firsts. Both as a woman, and in some cases, a photographer. She photographed World War II combat, the Soviet Union, and Moscow during the 1941 Kremlin raids by Germany, and the Korean War.
She explored other European and Asian countries during these turmoiltious times, recording the ends of cultures, and the births of new ones in Russia, Czechoslovakia and other Balkan states.
She had a knack for being in a place just before historic events occurred. This was true in India during the final hours of Mahatma Gandhi’s life. She took the iconic spinning wheel photo of the man who preached peace.
She worked in photography until Parkinson’s Disease would no longer allow her to. She only lived two years after her lifelong career was over.
Works Cited: All Accessed on 02/23/17