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Margaret Bourke-White (American, June 14, 1904–August 27, 1971) was a documentary photographer and a photojournalist. Bourke-White is best known as the first female war correspondent and the first to be allowed into combat zones during WWII. She was born in the Bronx, NY, and was raised in a family that believed in equal educational opportunities for their children. Margaret attended several universities in her pursuit of a degree in herpetology, or the study of reptiles. She attended Columbia University in New York, The University of Michigan, Purdue University in Indiana, and Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. She returned home to finish her degree at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, in 1927.

Although Bourke-White did not pursue a degree in photography in college, her father introduced her to the medium as a young woman. She turned her hobby into a career by opening a studio in Cleveland, where she specialized in architectural and industrial photography. Bourke-White got her start in industrial photography with the Otis Steel Company, in Cleveland, in 1927. At the time, she was considered the premier female industrial photographer.

Bourke-White began her career in photojournalism as the first photographer for Fortune Magazine in 1929. The following year, she was decreed the first woman photographer allowed into the Soviet Union. She was hired by Henry Luce in 1935 as the first staff photographer for the new Life magazine. On November 23, 1936, one of her photographs adorned the front cover of the inaugural addition of the magazine. Her best known photographs are the gripping pictures documenting the Depression in the book You Have Seen Their Faces (1937). The book was a collaboration with her soon to be husband, Erskine Caldwell (American, 1903–1987). She was married to Caldwell for three years, from 1939 to 1942. In April of 1945, she traveled through war ravaged Germany with General Patton. As she took some of the most haunting photographs of the war within the walls of Buchenwald, she said she was glad for the barrier the camera provided. After the war, she produced a book, titled Dear Fatherland, Rest Quietly (1946), as a way to help herself come to grips with the atrocities she had witnessed and captured during the war. Bourke-White developed the first symptoms of Parkinson's disease as a relatively young woman in 1953, and died from the disease in 1971. Throughout her life and after, she received several awards and recognitions.

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  • Ships From: Florida, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 6.5 x 9.6 in. (16.51 x 24.38 cm.)
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