Margaret Bourke-White
June 14, 1904 - August 27, 1971

Margaret was born on June 14th, 1904, in Bronx, New York. Margaret's mother stayed home and took good care of Margaret and her sister. Margaret's father was an inventor, an engineer, and an amateur photographer. Margaret used to follow her father around as he took photographs. She liked to pretend to take pictures using an empty cigar box and also helped her father develop his photographic prints in the bathtub.

Margaret continued to enjoy photography when she was in college, but she stopped taking pictures and quit school to get married. Two years later she left her husband and returned to college where she began to take pictures again. Shortly after graduating from Cornell she started the Bourke-White studio in her one room apartment. At first Margaret made her living taking photographs of gardens and elegant homes, but her real passion involved taking industrial photographs of big companies like steel mills.

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Over time Margaret's wonderful photographs were noticed by many people. She was hired to take photographs for a new magazine called Fortune. She took photographs of big industrial plants and traveled as far as Russia when she was a photographer for Fortune magazine. Margaret also liked to take photographs of people.

She took pictures of people in Russia and poor, rural people in the South. She met her second husband who was a writer, when she worked with him taking photographs for a book he wrote. The photographs and the book about the people during the Depression were very touching and sad.

She was one of the first photographers hired for a new magazine called Life and had many opportunities to travel and take photographs of people around the world. She was one of the first women to take photographs in dangerous places and enjoyed living a life of adventure. Some people say that Margaret's photographs helped pioneer a new art form called photojournalism. She was one of the most important photographers of the twentieth century.

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