Bourke-White, Margaret, 1904-1971

Alternative names
Birth 1904-06-14
Death 1971-08-27

Biographical notes:

Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971) was an American photographer, war correspondent, author and photojournalist. Among her many achievements, she was the first foreign photographer allowed to take pictures in the USSR of Soviet industry, the first female war correspondent, and the first female photographer for Life magazine, where her photograph appeared on the first cover. She was the author of more than ten books, including her autobiography Portrait of Myself (1963). She received numerous awards over her career, including honorary doctorates from Rutgers University and the University of Michigan, and in 1997 she was designated a Women's History Month honoree by the National Women's History Project.

From the guide to the Margaret Bourke-White Papers, 1863-1984, 1928-1964, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

B. June 14,1904 in Bronx, NY;d. in Connecticut, August 1971.

From the description of Margaret Bourke-White : Artist File. (International Center of Photography). WorldCat record id: 680517953


From the description of Margaret Bourke-White photographs, 1927-1972. (Cornell University Library). WorldCat record id: 64075182

BIOGHIST REQUIRED Margaret Bourke-White was born in New York City and grew up in Bound Brook, New Jersey. She enrolled at Columbia University in 1921 where she studied photography under Clarence H. White (no relation), a noted photographer in the Photo-Secession movement. She transferred to the University of Michigan in 1922, later took courses at Western Reserve University, and ultimately received her bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 1927. Her first book, Eyes on Russia, resulted from an assignment documenting Russian industrialization for the magazine Fortune.

By 1931, Bourke-White was a widely recognized photojournalist when she photographed the Morningside Campus for the Columbia University Press, offering six total views for sale to the public. She continued to receive accolades for her work in photojournalism, joining the staff of Life Magazine in 1936 and serving as a correspondent in the Soviet Union during the Second World War. She was married to Everett Chapman 1924-1926 and writer Erskine Caldwell 1939-1942.

From the guide to the Margaret Bourke-White Photographs, 1931, (Columbia University University Archives)


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Ark ID:


  • Photojournalism
  • Photographers--United States--Biography
  • Korean War, 1950-1953--Photography
  • India--Pakistan Conflict, 1947-1949--Photography
  • Commercial photography
  • World War, 1939-1945--Journalists
  • World War, 1939-1945--Italy--Pictorial works
  • Women photographers
  • Radicalism
  • Aerial photography
  • Photography
  • World War, 1939-1945--Photography
  • World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American
  • Advertising--Photographers
  • Photography--Equipment and supplies
  • Photography, Military
  • Documentary photography
  • War correspondents--20th century
  • Advertising photography
  • Photography, Artistic
  • Photographs
  • War photography
  • Photographers--United States--20th century
  • Photography, Industrial
  • News photographers--United States--20th century


  • Photographers
  • War correspondents
  • News photographers


  • United States (as recorded)
  • Pakistan (as recorded)
  • India (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Southern States (as recorded)
  • Muncie, Ind (as recorded)
  • India (as recorded)
  • Soviet Union (as recorded)