Margret Bourke-White

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Margret Bourke-White was born on June 14, 1904 in The Bronx, New York. Margaret's father, Joseph White, was of Polish-Jewish background. He was an inventor and an engineer. He believed in equality in education and opportunity for all his children. Margaret's mother, Minnie Bourke, was of Irish-English ancestry and was a loving and nurturing mother. Minnie was completing her college degree at the time of her death. Margaret was married twice; once to Everett Chapman, when she was but 18 years old; and to Erskine Caldwell, the writer, in 1939, after they had worked together. They divorced in 1942. As A child, she wanted to become a great biologist. She studied Herpetology (the study of reptiles) in high school and had hopes to become good enough to go on an expedition. She attended many universities where she began to pursue her degree in Herpetology. These universities included Columbia University in New York, the University of Michigan, Purdue University in Indiana, Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and she received her degree in 1927 from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. She began to study photography as a hobby when she was very young. Her father was somewhat of a camera lover and exposed her to the wonders of photography as well. In 1917, her father suffered a stroke. By 1919, he had recovered enough for the family to take a trip to Niagara Falls and Canada. While there, she began to make notes on his photographs, and helped him set up shots on several occasions. Margaret was a woman of many firsts. She was the first woman photojournalist for the magazine Fortune in 1929. In 1930, she was the first Western photographer allowed into the Soviet Union. Henry Luce hired her as the first female photojournalist for Life magazine, soon after its creation in 1935, and one of her photographs adorned its first cover. She was the first female war correspondent and the first to be allowed to work in combat zones during World War II. She was one of the...
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