J.D. Salinger
by Lotte Jacobi

In 1951, one of the most banned, as well as most taught, books in American literature was written by Salinger - The Catcher in the Rye. On the dust jacket of its first edition was one of the very few photographs ever taken of its author, who besides this one novel, only wrote a handful of short stories before he disappeared into a reclusive life in New Hampshire, where he still lives today at age 87. The photo was taken by Lotte Jacobi. He was 32 then, but she was already 55, having been born in 1896 in Poland to a family of famous photographers. She began to study photography as a child and got formal training in Germany in the 1920s. In 1935, she left Germany for New York to escape the Nazi regime. By then she was 39. Over the next 20 years she photographed many famous people, including Einstein, Robert Frost, Eleanor Roosevelt, Thomas Mann, and Marc Chagall. In 1955, she moved to her sonŐs property in Deering, New Hampshire in the southwest corner of the state not far from where Salinger still lives. She opened a gallery and in the last years of her life received many awards. She lived to be 94 years old. These are some of her photos.

Helen Keller (Hands)
by Yousuf Karsh 1948, gelatin silver print, 46.0 x 36.7 cm.

Yousuf Karsh died in 2002 at the age of 94, having become one of the world's most famous portrait photographers. Click here and you will almost surely see one you've seen somewhere in your life. His image of Winston Churchill is said to be the most reproduced portrait in photographic history. In this photo of Helen Keller's hands you can see one thing he did with studio lights which was to light a person's hands separately. He was born in Turkey (which was then called Armenia) and, like Lotte Jacobi (the photographer from the last Saturday Photo I posted), he had to flee his homeland because of persecution. He wound up being sent to live with his uncle in Canada, who was a photographer and who eventually had him apprentice with a famous portrait photgrapher in Boston. After four years he returned to Canada and set up a studio near the Prime Minister's Office. As luck would have it, the Prime Minister discovered him there, took a liking to him and started introducing him to visiting dignitaries who sat for portraits. And eventually Churchill came to town, and the rest is history. Of the 100 people named by the International Who's Who [2000] as the most notable people of the century, Karsh had photographed 51. Karsh himself was the only Canadian to make the list. Karsh said "My chief joy is to photograph the great in heart, in mind, and in spirit, whether they be famous or humble." And boy did he ever.

Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, and Magic Johnson
San Diego, June 1992

by Neil Leifer (b. December 28, 1942 in New York, New York)
(See sidebar for others)

Neil Leifer began his career pushing wheelchairs into New York Giant games to get free admission and then slipping in with the photographers on the field. When he was 15, he got some photos of the game winning touchdown of the first overtime game in league history between the Giants and the Baltimore Colts in the NFL in 1958. He sold them to Sports Illustrated and they put him to work. He had his first cover shot at age 19. He was known for taking risks like when he put a camera in the rafters of the Houston Astrodome to get a shot of the canvas when Muhammad Ali knocked out Cleveland Williams for the 1966 heavyweight title. After more than 150 covers for Sports Illustrated he left for bigger assignments with Time Magazine. Now 63, he's begun to slow down to just taking pictures of his grandchildren except for occasional cover shoots for Sports Illustrated. Here are some more of his famous photos.