Alfred Eisenstaedt

Alfred Eisenstaedt was a an early photojournalist in Europe and America. He was born in 1898 in what is now Poland and served in the German army World War I, where he was injured in both legs. In 1929, Eisenstaedt turned his passion for photography into a professional career and contributed to numerous European magazines (The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, 2009). 
Alfred Eisenstadt
Source: Perry J Baum
During the growth of Nazism in the 1930s, he photographed German officials, including Joseph Goebbels. He was Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda and this photo was taken while he was attending a League of Nations conference in 1933 (Cosgrove, 2014).  
Source: The LIFE Picture Collection

Two years later, Eisenstaedt immigrated to the United States where he continued his career in photojournalism. He was hired by Life magazine as a photographer, where he later became the leading photographer and contributed until 1972.

Eisenstaedt travel the globe, capturing events, places, and people. His favorite camera was the 35mm Leica camera (Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica). He photographed numerous celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, and Albert Einstein.


SOUTH DAKOTASource: The LIFE Picture Collection

However, he is most famous for the picture he took on August 14th, 1945: the V-J Day kiss in Times Square. Even though the moment captured by Eisenstaedt is generally admired and considered expression of celebration, some people find the photo controversial and believe it an example of sexual assault (Gajanan, 2016). Yet, the photo has continued to pop up everywhere. From colorized versions of the photo, to featured in a movie, to printed on t-shirts, this iconic WWII photo will continue to be loved for generations.


Source: The LIFE Picture Collection

Alfred Eisenstaedt died in 1995 and left behind his legacy in thousands of photographs.

– Diana Powell


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