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Skating waiter Ren� Breguet delivers drinks at the Grand Hotel, St. Moritz, 1932.
Skating waiter Ren� Breguet delivers drinks at the Grand Hotel, St. Moritz, 1932.Alfred Eisenstaedt—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Skating waiter Ren� Breguet delivers drinks at the Grand Hotel, St. Moritz, 1932.
Hitler's Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels glowers at photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt in the garden of the Carlton Hotel during a League of Nations conference, Geneva, September 1933.
La Scala, Milan, 1934.
Ballerinas in a rehearsal room at George Balanchine's School of American Ballet, 1936.
Model Janet MacLeod wearing a veiled hat designed by Lilly Dach�, 1937.
Hedy Lamarr, 1938.
Student nurses line the railings of a stairwell at Roosevelt Hospital, New York, 1938.
Mount Rushmore, 1940.
Pennsylvania Station, New York, 1943.
"In the middle of New York's Times Square a white-clad girl clutches her purse and skirt as an uninhibited sailor plants his lips squarely on hers." V-J Day, 1945.
Mother and child in Hiroshima, Japan, December 1945.
Trees in snow, St. Moritz, 1947.
Albert Einstein, Princeton, 1948.
The drum major for the University of Michigan marching band high-steps as children follow suit, 1950.
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill flashes his signature "V for Victory" sign, 1951.
Ernest Hemingway, 1952.
Marilyn Monroe on the patio of her home, 1953.
Sen. John F. Kennedy and his daughter Caroline at home after the Democratic Party named him their 1960 presidential candidate, 1960.
Jackie Kennedy reads to daughter Caroline, Hyannis Port, 1960.
Children watch the story of "Saint George and the Dragon" at an outdoor puppet theater in Paris, 1963.
Sophia Loren on set of the movie, Marriage Italian Style, 1964.
American artist Thomas Hart Benton, 1969.
Skating waiter Ren� Breguet delivers drinks at the Grand Hotel, St. Moritz, 1932.
Alfred Eisenstaedt—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty I
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Unforgettable Eisenstaedt: 22 Amazing Photos by a Master

Nov 03, 2014

Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898–1995), the man behind some of the most memorable pictures of the 20th century, was a professional photographer for almost 70 years. He started working in photography in Weimar Germany in the 1920s. Having fled Nazi Germany in the mid-'30s, he shot for LIFE magazine from its debut in 1936 until it ceased publishing as a weekly in 1972. After LIFE was shuttered, Eisenstaedt kept photographing until the mid-1990s.

Small in stature, dapper, indefatigable—"I cannot believe that any photographer today works as much as I worked in the past," he told an interviewer in 1993—"Eisie" traveled the world, making indelible portraits of famous people and places, infamous scoundrels and anonymous (but, through his lens, immortalized) men, women and children.

"Eisenstaedt never lost his childlike interest in things and people, in what made them what they were," Robert Andreas wrote in the 2004 book, The Great LIFE Photographers. "He would put his subjects at ease, then get up close and take a few pictures—he didn't need roll after roll—then it was on to the next person, the next happening, tirelessly pursuing the heart of the matter that he saw so easily and wanted very much for us to see too."

Here, on the anniversary of Eisenstaedt's death in 1995, LIFE.com celebrates "this little fellow from Germany" (Andreas again) with 22 pictures culled from the hundreds of thousands of photos he shot through the years. Many of these photographs will be familiar to our readers. Some of them are among photography's most widely recognized, most frequently reproduced images. A few of them might be pictures that you've never seen before. But all of them share the unmistakable, deeply humane sensibility that defined the very best work of the man who made them.

[MORE: "Behind the Picture: Joseph Goebbels Glares at the Camera, Geneva, 1933"]

[MORE: "'Hemingway Almost Killed Me': A LIFE Photographer Remembers"]

[MORE: "Marilyn Monroe at Home in Hollywood: Color Portraits, 1953"]

Marilyn Monroe and Alfred Eisenstaedt at Monroe's home, 1953. Alfred Eisenstaedt—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

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