Famous Photographers

Alfred Eisenstaedt
Alfred Stieglitz
Annie Leibovitz

Ansel Adams
Brett Weston
Brian Duffy
Dorothea Lange
Eddie Adams
Edward Weston
Helmut Newton
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Jerry Uelsmann
Joe Rosenthal
Louis Daguerre
Man Ray
Margaret Bourke-White
Mary Ellen Mark
Robert Capa
Robert Mapplethorpe
Steve McCurry


Alfred Eisenstaedt

Photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt is perhaps known most for the iconic photograph he captured of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square on V-J Day on August 14, 1945 (pictured below).

Alfred Eisenstaedt
Photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt

Eisenstaedt's native country was Germany, where he was born December 6, 1898 in Dirschau, but many of the last years of his life were spent at Martha's Vineyard, where he had vacationed for 50 years, and where he died August 24, 1995.

Living in Berlin since 1906, and as World War I commenced, Eisenstaedt joined the German Army. After being wounded in action in 1918, he became a salesman of belts and buttons. He discovered photography and then began freelancing for the German-language newspaper, Berliner Tageblatt. Eisenstaedt soon began working full-time, and in 1933 he took one of his first notable images, a conference between the founder of Fascism, Benito Mussolini, and Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in Italy.

Additional distinct, candid images he took included that of a 1932 photograph of an ice skating waiter in St. Moritz, and a 1993 image of Joseph Goebbels in Geneva, after which Goebbels frowned at Eisenstaedt when he found out about his Jewish heritage. Many of Eisenstaedt's renowned photographs were taken with different models of a 35mm Leica rangefinder camera.
Living in Nazi Germany as a Jew, Eisenstaedt moved to the United States in 1935.

Alfred Eisenstaedt Sailor
Sailor Kissing Nurse on V-J Day

In the States, his career took off, and he worked for iconic Life magazine for 36 years, beginning in 1936, working as a photojournalist and taking photos of many celebrities and high-profile artists and authors such as Ernest Hemingway, and Marilyn Monroe (pictured bottom) and politicians such as President John F. Kennedy and his cabinet. His work graced the cover 90 times. Eisenstaedt was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1989.

While he spent vacations at Martha's Vineyard, Eisenstaedt would always use natural light for his photographs. He took many images of the island's lighthouses, which became the source of many fundraisers that helped maintain the lighthouses. Eisenstaedt had spent twenty-two years of his vacations on Martha's Vineyard with his wife, Kathy, who died in 1972 from cancer.

Two years before his death, he took the last of his photographs. The photos include a presidential-family session with President Bill Clinton, wife, Hillary (now Secretary of State), and their daughter Chelsea at the Granary Gallery, an artists' gallery featuring a red barn, on Martha's Vineyard, as the Secret Service kept watch.

Photographing Eisenstaedt as he took these private-session photos of the President with his family was William E. Marks. Marks met Eisenstaedt ten years earlier when he was on assignment to photograph Eisenstaedt, or Eisie as he was known to close friends, for an exclusive for Martha's Vineyard Magazine. Marks photographed Eisenstaedt at work for the ten years he knew him.

Alfred Eisenstaedt Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe

Alfred Eisenstaedt died at one of his favorite places to stay on the island, the Menemsha Inn, with Lulu, his sister-in-law, and close friend William E. Marks at his side. The Digital Journalist, an online magazine devoted to photojournalism, named Eisenstaedt as Photojournalist of the Century, and published a multimedia presentation featuring stories by fellow photojournalists such as John Loengard, Bill Pierce and Marianne Fulton.


The Rumor Mill

The rumor mill has churned up a few additional details besides the accurate biography detailed above. According to rumors, hear-say and unfounded innuendo, Alfred Eisenstaedt was in fact the first person to photographically document Fatso, the Piano Playing Cat.


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