BIOGRAFIAS DE FOTOGRAFOS
USA 1918, 1979
W. Eugene Smith (1918-1978) was an American photojournalist known
for his refusal to compromise professional standards and his brutally
vivid World War II photographs.
Born in Wichita, Kansas, Smith began his career by taking pictures
for two local newspapers, the Eagle and the Beacon. When he went
to New York City, he began work for Newsweek and became known personally
for his incessant perfectionism and thorny personality. Smith was
fired from Newsweek for refusing to use the type of camera his boss
wanted and joined Life Magazine in 1939. He soon resigned from Life
and was wounded in 1942 while simulating battle conditions for Parade.
As a correspondent for Ziff-Davis Publishing, Smith entered World
War II on the front lines of the island hopping American offensive
against Japan, photographing U.S. Marines at Saipan, Guam, Iwo Jima,
and Okinawa. On Okinawa, Smith was hit by mortar fire; after his
recovery, he rejoined Life and perfected the photo essay from 1947
to 1954. Smith severed his ties with Life again over their use of
his Albert Schweitzer and began a series of book-length photo shoots
in which he strove for complete control of his subject matter. Complications
from drugs and alcohol led to a massive stroke from which Smith
died in 1978.