TIME photography

In Memoriam: Remembering the Photographers We Lost in 2014

As 2014 rolls to a close, LightBox pauses to remember the great photographers we lost this year

Each year TIME LightBox pays tribute to the photographers who died. For many of us at TIME, they were friends and colleagues; for many of those reading, they were family and loved ones; and for all of us, they were trail blazers, visionaries and icons.

It would be difficult this year, however, to approach this article without acknowledging the loss of two other colleagues, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, whose deaths rippled far beyond the journalistic community. The circumstances of their deaths have been covered widely; despite efforts to wipe the videos of their executions by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) from the internet, remnants remain in the digital ether, but more so in the darkest depths of the collective consciousness of those who witnessed them. The videos drew the U.S. deeper into the Syrian civil war, and proved the lengths to which ISIS would go to engender fear in a horrific power play to control its message.

It is difficult to find anything positive in an event that was so dark and irredeemable. But it forces us to reflect on a profession that is becoming increasingly dangerous exactly when such journalism has become vital. Foley and Sotloff were two of 23 journalists and aid workers kidnapped by insurgents in Syria and either sold or handed over to ISIS; two of 66 journalists killed this year, according to a report by Reporters Without Borders; and two of 119 journalists that were kidnapped in 2014, according to the same report. Over 200 journalists were jailed by governments in 2014, with China topping the list, according to a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Freelancers and local reporters are especially vulnerable; 90% of those kidnapped in 2014 were local journalists, and 139 professional journalists plus 20 citizen-journalists fled their homelands in fear into countries where they would not be guaranteed safety or protection.

The implications of these numbers can be put in another way: good journalism is not just the responsibility of the journalistic community; it is a global effort that must be bolstered by individual governments’ commitment to protecting the freedom of the press, and fought for in the face of authoritarian entities. It has become far too dangerous a fight for the individual – or even the individual organization – to tackle.

“Sometimes it is easy to forget why we need [journalism] at all,” jailed Al-Jazeera reporter Peter Greste wrote in December. “Journalism can, at times, look pretty sordid, and few of us who work in it can claim to have never succumbed to the more base instincts of our trade. And in the wired world of the internet, with its citizen reporters and millions of sources, it is tempting to wonder why we need professional journalists at all. But that noise is the reason itself. Never has cleared-eyed, critical, skeptical journalism been more necessary to help make sense of a world overloaded with information…The best journalism puts a frame around an issue. It helps define it, clarifies it, makes sense of it. And, above all, it challenges authority.”

As we remember the photographers we lost this year, let us bear in mind the lengths many of them went to be image makers, and remember that freedom of the press, as well as freedom of speech, are not given. The men and women we pay tribute to made the most of the ability they had to express themselves, as photojournalists, artists, and creators; their photographs were etched in light and engraved into history.

Rene Burri (1933-2014)

Rene Burri Self Portrait
Rene Burri—Magnum PhotosAutoportrait, Coronado, N.M., 1973/83.

Legendary Magnum photographer René Burri‘s body of work is a chronicle of the political and cultural people and events that shaped the last half of the 20th century. At the age of 13, Burri made his first photo of Winston Churchill as the prime minister zipped through his hometown in an open-top car. His first photo essay documenting a school for deaf and mute children in Zurich was published in Du magazine when he was just 23. His work would go on to be published in LIFE, Look, Geo, Stern, The New York Times, and Paris Match among many others. He became an associate member at Magnum Photos in 1955 and a full member in 1959. He created iconic and intimate portraits of Che Guevara, Le Courbousier, Picasso, Giacometti and Baragnan; he photographed the Suez Canal crisis, the Vietnam War, and a divided Berlin with a sensitive and humanist eye; he made studies of the architecture and urban landscapes in Latin America, Asia and Europe that verge on abstract without ever losing what he referred to as ‘the pulse of life’.

“Most people will remember Rene Burri for his portrait of Che with a cigar, which must be on t-shirts, mugs, watches and etched into so many minds by now,” Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas told TIME. “But for those of us in Magnum, Rene was the one who brought us all together each year, at the end of our annual June meeting, for a group picture, and if someone was missing, he collaged them in. Rene, was deeply curious and with his Swiss passport he covered the world, especially adventuring where others were limited by the Cold War. All of us are off on individual paths, but our group picture was the one time of year to express that collective spirit we share.” Burri died at the age of 81 on Oct. 20.

Ralph Morse (1917-2014)

LIFE photographer/war correspondent Ralph Morse's self-portrait in the same chair from which General Eisenhower announced Allied victory in Europe.
The LIFE Images Collection/Getty ImagesLIFE photographer and war correspondent Ralph Morse in the same chair from which General Eisenhower announced Allied victory in Europe.

LIFE’s longtime managing editor, George Hunt, reportedly said, “If LIFE could afford only one photographer, it would have to be Ralph Morse.” In his 30 years as a LIFE photographer, Morse became one of the greatest photojournalists of his time and captured history as it unfolded. Starting in the 1940s at the age of 24, he became LIFE’s youngest correspondent during World War II, covering the brutality of conflict and the relief at the end of the war. He captured crowds on the streets of New York gathering around a car radio to hear news of JFK’s assassination, and Einstein’s office, in the exact chaotic state the scientist had left it, on the day he died. He photographed Jackie Robinson dancing off third base in the 1955 World Series and an ailing Babe Ruth bidding a final farewell to his fans at Yankee Stadium the day his jersey number was retired. He spent so much time covering NASA’s Mercury 7 that John Glenn dubbed him ‘the eighth astronaut’. He photographed for LIFE until the day it closed in 1972, bringing to each assignment a gregariousness that was as much a part of his personality as an integral part of his work.

“A good photojournalist goes into any situation prepared,” he said in one of his last conversations with LIFE.com editor Ben Cosgrove. “You find out something, at least one key thing, about the topic you’re going to cover. And, as importantly, you make friends — you make friends with everybody, wherever you go. Because you never know when you’ll need to go back there, for one more picture, or to follow up on a story.” Morse died at the age of 97 on Dec. 7 at his home in Florida.

Phil Stern (1919-2014)

Renowned Hollywood photographer Phil Stern died on Dec. 13 at the age of 95. His most well-known image of James Dean peeking over the collar of his sweater (slide 18) was one in a prolific collection of iconic photographs taken in a career that spanned over 60 years. Stern cut his teeth first photographing crime for a police gazette in New York City, eventually becoming a freelancer for magazines such as LIFE, Look, and Colliers. During WWII he enlisted in the army and became a combat photographer, capturing the 1st Ranger Battalion in North Africa and the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943. He returned to Los Angeles with several shrapnel wounds and a Purple Heart, and began the body of work for which he would become most famous, photographing everyone from Marilyn Monroe to John Wayne, Frank Sinatra to Ella Fitzgerald. In 1961, he was enlisted by Sinatra to be the official photographer of John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural gala.

“Phil had incredible access to those subjects who became some of the greatest legends of all time,” says Geoff Katz, owner of CPi, who worked with Stern for over 20 years. “He had an extraordinary talent and innate ability to connect with his subjects in a way that made them feel at ease, natural and vulnerable allowing Phil to capture precious moments while also creating indelible portraits of the most most celebrated icons of the 20th century.”

Anja Niedringhaus (1965-2014)

Muhammed Muheisen—APAnja Niedringhaus shows Iraqi children their pictures in Baghdad in 2004.

The Associated Press sustained several losses this year. Pulitzer prize winning photojournalist Anja Niedringhaus was murdered at the age of 48 on April 4 while covering the national election in Afghanistan when a police officer opened fire on a car that she and AP special correspondent Kathy Gannon were traveling in.

Niedringhaus began her career at the age of 16 at a local paper in Hoexter, and became a photographer for the European Press Agency in 1990 following her coverage of the fall of the Berlin Wall. She went on to work in some of the most dangerous areas of the world, covering the conflict in the former Yugoslavia for EPA, and then across the Middle East, including Pakistan and Afghanistan, for AP from 2002. She was the only woman on a team of 11 AP photographers that won a Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography in 2005 for their coverage of the war in Iraq.

“There are not enough words to describe Anja, the most caring, honest, brave and committed photojournalist,” wrote Muhammed Muheisen, an AP photographer who was with Niedringhaus the night before she was killed. “My friend, who I met in a war zone and made me feel safe and loved. Everybody loved Anja, her smile could melt a mountain. Her pictures told stories of people, whom she portrayed full of pride and worked hard to raise their voice. She believed in the goodness of people and no matter what, she never lost hope. I was so concerned about her safety in April, but her last words to me were ‘Momo, this is what I meant to do, am happy to go.'”

Dave Martin (1955-2014)

Known to many as Mullet (after the fish, not the hair-do), AP photographer Dave Martin had a sense of humor and generosity that was matched only by his dedication to his work. “His impact on the AP was, in my opinion, profound,” long-time friend and colleague Bill Haber told TIME. “When you worked on an assignment with Dave, you knew how hard he was going to work, so it stepped up your game. His impact is with all of the staff that ever worked with him.”

Martin began his career as an AP staff photographer in 1983 in Montgomery, Ala. after a brief stint at the Lakeland Ledger. Over three decades, Martin covered almost every major news event in the South including Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf Oil Spill, and the tornadoes that struck Alabama in 2011. He also traveled for AP, shooting Superbowls, Olympics, Ryder Cups, sporting events and political conventions, as well as conflicts in Afghanistan, Haiti and Iraq. He was named regional manager in 2004, and fostered strong relationships with the many local news outlets that would file to AP. He was tireless in his efforts to get the public the best news images possible, whether taken by him or by another photographer. He was renowned for perfecting the ‘water bucket’ shot at football games when players empty a gatorade bucket over their coaches’ heads. Martin was the first on the field at Georgia Dome on Jan. 1 of this year, at the Chick-fil-A Bowl following Texas A&M’s 52-48 win over Duke to capture just that moment when he succumbed to a heart attack and collapsed at the age of 59.

Franklin Reyes (1975-2014)

Cuban photographer Franklin Reyes covered daily life in his country with a depth and sensitivity that elevated the ordinary. An integral part of AP’s team on the island, Reyes imbued seemingly small stories with lyricism and emotion, from his images of ballerinas, to young boys training as boxers, to fleeting but beautiful scenes on the streets of a country that has been so isolated from the outside world. On Nov. 4 of this year, Reyes was on assignment shooting a story on Cuba’s economy when he lost control of his car and crossed into oncoming traffic, hitting another car. He died at the scene of the accident at the age of 39.

Michel du Cille (1956-2014)

In an article that Washington Post photographer and three-time Pulitzer prize winner Michel du Cille wrote shortly before his death in October of this year, he discussed the difficulty of covering the Ebola crisis in West Africa: “How does one give dignity to the image of a woman who has died and is lying on the ground, unattended, uncovered and alone as people walk by or gaze from a distance? But I believe that the world must see the horrible and dehumanizing effects of Ebola. The story must be told; so one moves around with tender care, gingerly, without extreme intrusion.”

This respect for the subject was foundational in du Cille’s approach to his work. Du Cille began his career in photojournalism at the age of 16 at the Gainesville Times in Georgia. He joined the staff of the Miami Herald in 1981 and won his first Pulitzer four years later for his work on the volcano eruption in Colombia. Two weeks into working on the project that would win him his second Pulitzer, a photo essay on life inside a crack house for the Herald in 1987, du Cille’s editor Gene Weingarten asked him how the work was progressing. He said to Weingarten, “No pictures yet. I haven’t taken my camera. First comes trust, then the work.” After seven years at the Herald, du Cille joined the Post as a photo editor, helping to build up the department and overseeing the newspaper’s Pulitzer prize winning coverage of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. He continued to photograph, notably covering civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, the war in Afghanistan, returning veterans at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and recently the Ebola crisis in West Africa. On Dec. 11, during his second trip to cover the crisis, du Cille collapsed while hiking back from a small Liberian village where he was working. He died of an apparent heart attack at the age of 58.

Camille Lepage (1988-2014)

Fred Dufour—AFP/Getty ImagesCamille Lepage in Bangui on Feb. 19, 2014.

The body of French photojournalist Camille Lepage, who was 26, was discovered by French peacekeeping troops in a car being driven by Christian anti-balaka militiamen in the Bouar region of the Central African Republic on May 13. The manner of her death is still uncertain. Lepage, a deeply committed photojournalist, had been covering the escalating violence in C.A.R. for several months. “When she arrived at the end of 2013, it wasn’t covered at all. Nobody was talking about C.A.R.,” photojournalist William Daniels, who worked in the region with Lepage, told TIME. “She was very interested in these types of places where the people were completely forgotten, undercovered, and where hopefully working as a photographer could make a difference.” She had previously been based in Juba, South Sudan and had dedicated herself to photographing those she felt were marginalized and overlooked. “She has put a bit of light on what the people in South-Sudan and C.A.R. have experienced,” Lepage’s brother Adrien wrote to TIME. “If one day those two countries live in peace, we will think about her, imagining her, somewhere, with a little smile.”

David Armstrong (1954-2014)

Photographer David Armstrong lived and breathed creativity, and was known for his boundless intellect and wit. “Having breakfast with him was a hoot,” photographer Nan Goldin told TIME about her life long friend, who died on Oct. 26. “He was very funny. He showed me that a sense of humor was a way to survive.” Armstrong, along with Ms. Goldin, was a core member of the Boston School; the two met in the 1960s when they were in high school in Cambridge, Mass., and became intertwined both in life and in art. Armstrong became known for his intimate, beautifully lit portraits of young men, friends and lovers both, that carried with them added poignancy as many of his subjects succumbed to drugs and the AIDS epidemic. His use of natural light was distinctive and painterly; it seemed to articulate the heart of a man who many said was of another era. “When he focused on a new person it was as if he’d shined a bright light on them. ” Ms. Goldin said, “When he shined that light on me it brought me to life. And I watched him do that with different people all his life.”

Though he himself influenced a whole generation of photographers, Armstrong was equally influenced by and had vast knowledge of other artists, writers, poets and musicians. David loved the line at the end of the Orson Welles film Touch of Evil, the one where Marlene Dietrich said, ‘he was some kind of a man…what does it matter what you say about people,’” filmmaker James Oakley, a close friend wrote to TIME. “I think this holds true here because David was some kind of a man.” He was a voracious reader and a masterful editor of his own work. His monographs, notably The Silver Cord, where he weaves together portraits with blurred landscapes he called ‘fuzzy wuzzies’, read more like literature than photo books.

In the late 90s, Armstrong began to work in fashion, but remained devoted to his personal practice, continuing to push boundaries with his representations of gender. His work has been shown in many exhibitions including the 1995 Whitney Biennial. His final show at the Casa de Costa gallery in New York was titled The Dark Parade, taken from an Emily Dickinson poem, and featured delicate, sculptural assemblages of personal artifacts he had collected through his life, which were in some sense portraits in their own right. When asked how she thought he would like to be remembered, Ms. Goldin said, “As a gorgeous flaneur, and as an artist. In every sense of the word.”

Arthur Leipzig (1918-2014)

Early on in his education as a photographer, Arthur Leipzig eschewed the more formal, lit portrait and opted to work in the streets of New York. Leipzig, a first generation New Yorker and high school drop out, came under the tutelage of Sid Grossman and the Photo League in 1941 where he was encouraged to develop a documentary practice. His first photo essay of children at play was inspired by a Renaissance painting by Breugel the Elder titled ‘Children’s Games'; Leipzig was struck by how similar the games in the painting were to what he saw on the city streets. He went on to work for the New York evening paper PM and International News Photos, eventually becoming a freelancer and traveling widely for several publications including the Times. “Arthur had great courage as a photographer,” gallerist Howard Greenberg told TIME. “He took on work and assignments that I think, in his quiet and determined way, displayed the tenacity, focus, and concentration required to make good photographs. He wasn’t afraid to challenge himself. And that’s a great lesson in life.”

Leipzig’s work was selected by Edward Steichen for both the ‘New Faces’ (1946) and ‘Family of Man’ (1955) shows at the MoMA, and his work is part of the permanent collections of the MoMA, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, has been exhibited in numerous solo shows, and published in several books. Liepzig died at his home in Sea Cliff, N.Y., at the age of 96 on Dec. 5.

Rebecca Lepkoff (1916-2014)

Cheryl DunnRebecca Lepkoff

Rebecca Lepkoff’s trajectory as a photographer had similar beginnings to Leipzig’s but took a very different course. Also a first generation New Yorker, Lepkoff was born to Russian immigrants in a tenement on Hester Street in the Lower East Side. She began her education as a dancer, taking classes with the famed Martha Graham. Eventually she used her earnings from performing at the 1939 New York World’s Fair to buy her first camera, a Voigtlander, and immediately took the the streets. “The thing about Rebecca that always stuck with me was that she was trained early on as a dancer,” Greenberg told TIME. “That sort of feel for rhythm and movement and timing infuses her work, in her own way. [Lepkoff’s] work is a very poetic vision of the street. It’s kinetic, it’s alive.” She found a vitality in the neighborhoods she had grown up in, from the push cart vendors, to the men and women bustling to and from work. Like Leipzig, she was also drawn to photographing children and had a special proclivity for capturing their inner lives. Lepkoff studied at the Photo League starting in 1945, and continued to work as she became a wife and mother, often staying up late to make prints after her children had fallen asleep. “She was so punk,” said photographer Cheryl Dunn, who included Lepkoff in her documentary Everybody Street. “The stories that she told me, the things that she did in the 1930s, 40s, or 50s, where she’d go to a neighborhood to shoot the streets. She seemed to defy what her generation of women did at every stage of her life, in a way.” Lepkoff’s work has been shown at and collected by several museums, and published in several books including Life on the Lower East Side: Photographs by Rebecca Lepkoff 1937-1950. She died two weeks after her 98th birthday on Aug. 17 at her home in Vermont.

Ray K. Metzker (1931-2014)

Modernist photographer Ray K. Metzker worked at the very edges of black-and-white photography, deploying the deepest blacks and brightest whites, dream-like repetition, and often constructing beautiful and bewildering composite images. Metzker studied under Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind at Institute of Design in Chicago from 1956 to 1959, creating a series on Chicago’s city streets. The work caught the eye of Edward Steichen, the curator of photography at MoMA. Steichen bought 10 prints from Metzker, and exhibited his work at the museum that same year. Metzker began his Composites series in the mid-1960s. Though his images were often bold and graphic, the symbols and shapes in them never dissolve into themselves; rather, they unfolded for the viewer with deeper metaphysical meaning. During his career, Metzker would have more than 50 solo shows, win two Guggenheim fellowships, publish several books, and have his work in the permanent collections of more than 45 museums. He died at the age of 83 on Oct. 9 in Philadelphia.

Lucien Clergue (1934-2014)

Barbara Alper—Getty ImagesLucien Clergue in Arles, France in July 1980.

Rencontres d’Arles festival founder and photographer Lucien Clergue died at the age of 80 on Nov. 15. Clergue began his life modestly, dropping out of school to work as a clerk in the food distribution industry after the death of his mother when he was 18. She had given Clergue a camera several years earlier and as he worked, he found time to assemble a series of images of post-war ruins and animals drowned by the Rhone river. He was long an admirer of Picasso and in 1953 at the age of 19, he approached the artist outside of a bullfight in Arles, presenting him with a stack of prints. The meeting was fortuitous and over time the two became friends and collaborators. Picasso encouraged his artistic development and introduced him to Jean Cocteau, with whom he would also collaborate. Clergue photographed both artists, as well as local gypsies, but became best known for his nudes. His work would go on to be shown in many exhibitions, including one curated by Edward Steichen at MoMA, collected by several museums, and published in numerous monographs. In 1968 he co-founded the Rencontres d’Arles photography festival with writer Michel Tournier. The festival continues to this day.

Lewis Baltz (1945-2014)

“You don’t know whether they’re manufacturing pantyhose or megadeath,” Lewis Baltz wrote of his characteristically stark, monochromatic images of factories in Southern California in a 1992 exhibition catalogue. One of the most prominent members of the New Topographics movement, Baltz’s seemingly dispassionate, minimalist images of empty suburban landscapes in the 1960s and 70s blurred the line between fine art and documentary photography. Though people rarely appear in his photographs, their influence is clear; the encroachment of concrete and strip malls across the California terrain was indicative of a deeper existential crisis. Baltz created his works in repetitive series, preferring the effect of the many to the singling out of the one. In the 1980s he moved to Europe, beginning to work in color and presciently turning his focus to the creeping invasion of surveillance and technology. His work has been collected by several museums including the Guggenheim, LACMA, SF MoMA and Tate Modern, shown in numerous galleries, and published in several books. He died at the age of 69 on Nov. 22 in Paris.

Michael Schmidt (1945-2014)

German photographer Michael Schmidt became known as a master of narrative. Born on the East side of Berlin, Schmidt moved with his family to the West shortly before the wall went up. The psychological effects of the construction and later tearing down of the wall became a central theme in his work, which he rendered in shades of grey, preferring the darkest and lightest greys to true black-and-white. Schmidt would devote several years to a project, photographing prolifically and then editing meticulously. His seminal work Waffenruhe, which was published as a book and exhibited as a solo show at MoMA in New York, is an atmospheric assemblage of cold, nearly alien details from the urban landscape paired with menacing portraits of young punks in Berlin. He founded Werkstatt für Fotografie (Workshop for Photography) in 1976 which is credited with bringing some of the most influential American photographers of the day to Berlin. Shortly before his death on May 24, he was awarded the Prix Pictet for his project “Lebensmittel” (Food), an exhaustive documentation of the food industry comprised of 177 images made over a period of six years.

Alfred Wertheimer (1929-2014)

In 1956, Alfred Wertheimer‘s life changed forever as he crossed paths with 21-year-old Elvis Presley. RCA assigned Wertheimer to make publicity shots of Presley, still an unknown artist at the time. Wertheimer, a holocaust survivor who had fled with his family from Germany to Brooklyn, traveled to Memphis where he would spend around 10 days over several months photographing the young star canoodling with fans backstage, shirtless at home, traveling on trains, walking city streets alone at night, and recording ‘Hound Dog’ and ‘Don’t Be Cruel’. He captured the moment before fame rushed in, and an unguarded side of Presley that would cease to exist as manager Colonel Tom Parker gained increasing control over the singer’s career. Decades later, Wertheimer would go on to show the work at the National Portrait Gallery and Grammy museums among others, as well as to publish several books of the work. Wertheimer died at the age of 85 on Oct. 21 at his home in New York.

David Redfern (1936-2014)

Music photographer David Redfern died on Oct. 22 at the age of 78 after a career that spanned over half a century and across the globe. Born in Derbyshire, Redfern’s career began when he moved to London in the late 1950s and began photographing jazz clubs. An avid jazz fan and early adopter of color film, Redfern quickly distinguished himself and began building an oeuvre of classic images of Kenny Ball, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Thelonius Monk, Nina Simone, and Miles Davis. By the late 1960s he was traveling internationally covering jazz, soul and rock festivals and adding to his collection shots of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zepplin. In 1980 he became the official photographer for Frank Sinatra at the singer’s request. He later founded the Redferns Music Picture Library, an archive of the thousands of images he had made throughout his career. He sold the archive to Getty Images in 2008, maintaining the right to 1,000 of his favorite images. His work has appeared in books, on posters, on U.S. postage stamps, and most recently tacked up on a wall in the movie Whiplash.

Bunny Yeager (1929-2014)

A self-portrait of Bunny Yeager Naples, Fla., in 1960
Bunny Yeager—Courtesy of RizzoliSelf-portrait, Naples, Fla., in 1960

Bunny Yeager shot to fame as a photographer after she booked her first shoot with Bettie Page in 1954. Yeager, who herself began as a model, had Page pose in her studio hanging ornaments on a Christmas tree and wearing nothing but a Santa hat and a wink; she sold the image to Playboy for $100, catapulting herself and Page into the mainstream. Yeager went on to shoot several centerfolds for Playboy and had her work published in a slew of post-war men’s magazines, establishing herself as one of the pre-eminent pin up photographers of her time. She is credited with making the iconic image of Ursula Andress emerging from the ocean in a white bikini on the set of the 1962 James Bond film ‘Dr. No’. Her images posses a depth that was perhaps rare in her field; her subjects appear at once seductive, vulnerable, playful and exquisitely powerful. Yeager reveled in finding and creating beauty, writing at length on her process in several books. Yeager also became known for her self-portraits, shot pin-up style. In them, she appears in all different locales, sometimes blonde, sometimes brunette, always in costumes that she made herself. The work, in its quality, transcends the genre she helped popularize, and is said to have influenced Cindy Sherman’s own self-portraits. Yeager died at the age of 85 on May 25.

Don Halasy (1940-2014)

Photographer Don Halasy died on Nov. 11. Halasy worked for the New York Post for 24 years, notably capturing Gorbachev’s visit to Governor’s island in 1987, the infamous gangster John Gotti, and the 9/11 attacks where he was trapped under a pile of debris. After digging himself out of the rubble, Halasy realized his camera with shots of the first tower going down were still buried and he dug back in to salvage it. In a CBS report on the attacks, Halasy emotionally recalled his experiences that day saying, “Of course everybody’s running away from it, and I’m a press photographer, I’m running toward it.”

Tom Self (1933-2014)

Birmingham News photographer Tom Self was one of the first to arrive on the scene of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church on Sept. 15, 1963. It was a pivotal moment in a career that would come to be defined by the civil rights movement, which Self went on to cover for the paper with a team of 11 photographers. He often wore a hard hat to document protests as tensions rose in the South. “You couldn’t shoot that stuff back here (in the distance),” Self told AL.com in 2013. “You had to be right in there with them.” He worked for the paper for 46 years, as both a senior photographer and photo editor, and mentor to many. He died at the age of 81 on Nov. 26.

Le Minh Thai (1921-2014)

APLe Minh Thai on a navy ship in South Vietnam in the 1950s.

Vietnam war photographer Le Minh Thai died at the age of 93 on Oct. 25 in Encinitas, Calif. Thai, who covered the war for AP and TIME, had strong contacts in the military and government, and became a valuable resource for foreign journalists covering the conflict. “He was the best known Vietnamese news photographer at that time, and was in demand by the small foreign press corps when they needed pictures,” former AP Vietnam correspondent Peter Arnett told TIME. In 1963, he helped TIME set up its Saigon bureau and then worked for months in 1975 to help TIME & LIFE’s staff evacuate. He eventually came to Los Angeles where he continued to work for the magazine, as well as running a side-business photographing Vietnamese refugees.

Henri Bureau (1940-2014)

Sygma co-founder Henri Bureau, known as ‘Nounours’ (Teddy) to his friends, began his career in the 1960s chronicling the luminaries of French culture and politics. Ten days after being hired by French agency Reporters Associes in 1966, he was sent to cover the war in Vietnam, launching a storied career in photojournalism. Over the next several decades he went on to cover some of the most harrowing conflicts and tragedies around the world, including the Six Day war, the Iran/Iraq war, widespread famine and cholera in Asia, and civil unrest in Northern Ireland, Portugal, and France during the May 1968 protests. He was tenacious in his coverage and brought that spirit with him when he co-founded Sygma in 1973, after working as a staff reporter at Gamma for several years. He later returned to Gamma as an editor, and then became director of Roger-Viollet from 1995 to 2005. He was the recipient of two World Press Photo awards for spot news, and published two books of his work. He died at the age of 74 on May 20.

Andy Rocchelli (1983-2014)

Italian photojournalist and Cesura Lab co-founder Andy Rocchelli died on May 25 while covering the revolution in Ukraine when a car he was traveling in with two other journalists and an interpreter near Slovyansk was hit by mortar shells. He was 33. Rocchelli had covered the Euromaidan protests in February, and was continuing his work documenting the revolution. A photo he made shortly before his death of children hiding in a bunker Slovyansk had received wide acclaim. Rocchelli had covered conflict and human rights violations in regions of the Caucasus and Kyrgyzstan, the Arab Spring in Libya, and the Libyan-Tunisian border. A book of his work titled Russian Interiors was crowdfunded and published by Cesura posthumously.

Kerim Okten (1972-2014)

TIME Magazine cover, Aug. 22, 2011
Photograph by Kerim Okten—EPA

Acclaimed EPA photographer Kerim Okten died in a motorcycle accident reportedly caused by lightning on April 10. Okten, whose work had been published in Newsweek, The New York Times, The Guardian, and on the Aug. 22, 2011 cover of TIME, began his career as a freelancer for national papers in Turkey before joining EPA in 1998. He left his position as chief photographer for EPA in Turkey to become the agency’s chief photographer in the UK in 2012, then returned to Turkey in December 2013. He was the chair of the sports category for this year’s World Press Photo.

Will Seberger (1981-2014)

Tucson photojournalist Will Seberger died unexpectedly at his home on Aug. 17 at the age of 33. Seberger was a freelancer focused on border policy, drug smuggling, local politics, and human rights. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, TIME, Newsweek, Mother Jones and Sports Illustrated.

Mia Tramz is a Multimedia Editor for TIME.com. Follow her on Twitter @miatramz.

TIME Internet

The 114-Year-Old Who Challenged Facebook’s Age Limits Has Died

Obit-Stoehr
Richard Tsong-Taatarii—AP At her home in Pottsdam, Minn., Anna Stoehr plays Scrabble with her son Harlan, 83, who is changing the hoses on her washer

"I'm still here," Anna Stoehr told Facebook when she tried to join

The 114-year-old woman who gained notoriety for challenging Facebook’s age limitations died in Minnesota on Sunday.

Anna Stoehr died in her sleep following several days of hospice care, her son, Harlan, told the Associated Press. According to the Gerontology Research Group, Stroehr was Minnesota’s oldest and the country’s seventh-oldest verified resident.

She garnered attention nationwide this year after a local news outlet reported her attempt to join Facebook was slighted by the fact that she couldn’t put down her real age. Unable to list her birth year of 1900 since it was in the triple digits, Stoehr put down 99 but penned a letter to Facebook that outlined the dilemma.

“I’m still here,” she wrote. In response, her son said, Facebook sent Stoehr 114 flowers on her birthday.

[AP]

TIME celebrities

Stage and Film Actress Billie Whitelaw Dead at 82

English actress Billie Whitelaw as Violet Kray in the film 'The Krays' in 1990.
Richard Blanshard—Getty Images English actress Billie Whitelaw as Violet Kray in the film 'The Krays' in 1990.

Known for roles in films including The Omen and worked alongside Irish playwright Samuel Beckett

British film and stage actress Billie Whitelaw, known for her work with Irish playwright Samuel Beckett—who once described her as “the perfect actress”—has died at the age of 82.

The Associated Press reports that Whitelaw passed away Sunday at Denville Hall, a London care home used by many retired professional actors.

According to the Guardian, Whitelaw began her entertainment career as a child actress on radio programs and trained as an actress at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. The actress began her working relationship with Beckett in 1963 and appeared in several of Beckett’s plays, including Play, Not I, and Footfalls, which Beckett wrote specifically for the actress.

The actress also appeared in over 50 movies, with memorable turns in BAFTA-winning performances in Charlie Bubbles and Twisted Nerve, as well as her role as the possessed nanny, Mrs. Baylock, in The Omen.

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME obituary

In Memoriam: Michel du Cille (1956 – 2014)

He worked in images, but his passion was reality

In 1987, photographer Michel du Cille immersed himself in the lives of Miami crack addicts inside a dangerous apartment complex known to its residents as the Graveyard. Working alongside the tough and talented young reporter Lynne Duke, du Cille produced a definitive document of the social and human tragedy that was the crack epidemic. Michel’s work for the Miami Herald’s Tropic magazine won the Pulitzer Prize—one of three Pulitzers honoring this important and influential photojournalist.

His editor on the piece, Gene Weingarten, was struck by the fact that Michel went to work without a camera. For weeks, he haunted the Graveyard with empty hands, learning to see human beings before making them his subjects. Knowing them meant revealing himself. “I want them to get to know me as a person,” Michel said. “First comes trust, then the work.”

Du Cille died this week as he lived, taking the long, honest path. He despised shortcuts. At 58, he was hiking miles of remote West African trail in pursuit of the Ebola epidemic for the Washington Post. Evidently, he suffered a heart attack.

A great news photograph—and Michel du Cille made many of them—reveals its subject in a way that writing can never match. What may be less obvious is that a great photograph also reveals the photographer. Writers can sketch scenes based on interviews; spin tales from notes and transcripts. The photographer must be present at the critical moment; there can be no substitute. This almost always means hours, days and weeks of preparation before the moment comes.

I was honored to work with Michel for many years at the Herald and the Post, and I remember him as a journalist of unrelenting integrity. He spoke in a soft voice with the faintest seasoning of his native Jamaica, and his was the still, soft voice of conscience. He demanded the best from himself and expected nothing less from the rest of us.

Together with the brilliant and hilarious editor Joe Elbert, du Cille built the Post’s photography department into one of the most distinguished in newspaper history. They were yin and yang, boisterous Joe and quiet Michel, but they prided themselves on their shared commitment to utter candor. They critiqued portfolios like Marine drill instructors, breaking the photographers down before rebuilding them in stronger form.

Michel du Cille—The Washington Post/Getty ImagesWounded soldiers during a morning formation. Walter Reed Medical Center. 2007.

When Michel stepped down from senior newsroom management to resume life as “a shooter,” he immediately reminded us that he could walk the walk. His deeply humane work documenting the neglect of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center perfectly complemented the wrenching investigation by writers Anne Hull and Dana Priest, and earned the Pulitzer gold medal in 2008.

That he eagerly volunteered to go into combat in Afghanistan after cancer treatment and a pair of knee replacements tells you a lot of what you need to know about Michelangelo Everard du Cille. That he wrote with searing openness about the challenge of honoring the dignity of Ebola patients while documenting their wretched suffering tells you the rest. He worked in images, but his passion was reality. No picture could be worthy unless it was honest.

Chip Somodevilla of Getty Images says that he leans daily on a lesson he learned from du Cille. “He said to always look at the subject—the action—from all angles. He said to literally walk a circle around your subject to see it from a different angle, and wait for the surprises to come. That is very sound and sage advice from a man who never stopped telling stories that surprised, touched and moved us all.”

TIME remembrance

Nelson Mandela Remembered, One Year Later

Mandela cover
Cover Credit: PHOTOGRAPH BY HANS GEDDA - SYGMA/CORBIS The Dec. 19, 2013, cover of TIME

The South African leader died on Dec. 5, 2013

It was one year ago, on Dec. 5, 2013, that Nelson Mandela died at age 95. To mark the passing of a man who U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called “a giant for justice and a down-to-earth human inspiration,” TIME put out a special issue, with remembrances from luminaries like Bono and Morgan Freeman, as well as a look back by the magazine’s former managing editor, Rick Stengel, who had worked closely with Mandela.

Stengel recalled visiting Mandela’s ancestral village with him, and finding that the South African leader seemed uninterested in talking about death:

Mandela might have been a more sentimental man if so much had not been taken away from him. His freedom. His ability to choose the path of his life. His eldest son. Two great-grandchildren. Nothing in his life was permanent except the oppression he and his people were under. And everything he might have had he sacrificed to achieve the freedom of his people. But all the crude jailers, tiny cells and bumptious white apartheid leaders could not take away his pride, his dignity and his sense of justice. Even when he had to strip and be hosed down when he first entered Robben Island, he stood straight and did not complain.

Read the full issue, here in the TIME archives: Nelson Mandela, 1918–2013

TIME

Man Posthumously Reveals He Was Spiderman in Obituary He Helped Write

Aaron Purmort showed great humor even in his dying days

Aaron Purmort was an art director, “pop culture encyclopedia,” husband and father. But his obituary, published in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune after his death from a brain tumor on Nov. 25, revealed him to be something else: Spiderman. The obituary, which he co-wrote with his wife, said that he died “after complications from a radioactive spider bite that led to years of crime-fighting and a years long battle with a nefarious criminal named Cancer.”

The remembrance goes on to recall (facetiously) his first wife Gwen Stefani and to assure readers that his son “will grow up to avenge his father’s untimely death.” Purmort’s wife Nora wrote on her blog, “My Husband’s Tumor,” that she had “never laughed and cried more in one sitting” than when the two of them wrote the obituary together. She has been documenting their story — “not a cancer story” but a love story “with some cancer” — on the blog since 2012, the year after they got married and Aaron was first diagnosed, and the year before they had their son.

The Purmorts’ story will soon become a documentary, the title of which, a&n, serves as a reminder that it is a love story at its core. As Nora wrote in the blog post in which she announced Aaron’s death: “I know what Aaron always knew: it might not be true right this second, but it’s going to be okay.”

TIME Books

Crime Novelist P.D. James Dies at 94

Oxford Literary Festival
David Levenson—Getty Images Author P.D. James poses for a portrait at the Oxford Literary Festival on April 9, 2011 in Oxford, England.

The British writer was known as “the Queen of Crime” for her popular mystery novels

British crime writer Phyllis Dorothy James White — who wrote under the name P.D. James — has died at her home in Oxford, England, it was announced Thursday. She was 94.

James, who wrote more than 20 books, was known as “the Queen of Crime,” for her fiction. Some of her best-known works included The Children of Men, which was adapted into a film in 2006, The Murder Room and Death Comes to Pemberley, a spin-off of Pride and Prejudice.

Born in Oxford in August 1920, James did not publish her first novel, Cover Her Face, until she was 42. She went on to become an international success, with many of works being adapted for the screen. She was also awarded the Crime Writers’ Association’s Diamond Dagger award in 1987 for lifetime achievement and the Medal of Honor for Literature in 2005 by National Arts Club. In 1991, she was named a Conservative life peer under the title Baroness James of Holland Park.

James told the BBC last year that she was working on another novel, though she noted, “With old age, it becomes very difficult. It takes longer for the inspiration to come, but the thing about being a writer is that you need to write.”

The news of James’s death was announced by her UK publisher Faber & Faber. In a statement, the publisher said of James: “She was so very remarkable in every aspect of her life, an inspiration and great friend to us all. It is a privilege to publish her extraordinary books. Working with her was always the best of times, full of joy. We will miss her hugely.”

[BBC]

TIME movies

Mike Nichols: A Look Back at the Director’s Best Films

Director Mike Nichols.
Gerald Holubowicz—Polaris Director Mike Nichols.

The director passed away Nov. 20 at the age of 83

Director Mike Nichols passed away today at the age of 83. The revered director (and husband of Diane Sawyer) was best known for directing films like The Graduate and Working Girl and The Remains of the Day, which he also produced. He was a member of the select group of EGOT winners — those who have earned an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards.

Nichols excelled at translating stage productions into sublime films, including Neil Simon’s Biloxi Blues and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which earned him the Oscar for best director. He also staged the original theatrical productions of Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple and Spamalot, winning his eighth Tony Award a few years ago for his revival of Death of a Salesman.

In addition to the films he directed for the screen, he also directed some incredible features for television, including the mini-series Angels in America and Wit, which both earned Emmy Awards.

As a primer for newcomers or a walk down cinematic memory lane for those looking to honor the memory of a great director, here are eight of his best films:

The Graduate (1967)

Catch-22 (1970)

Biloxi Blues (1988)

Silkwood (1983)

Working Girl (1988)

Closer (2004)

The Birdcage (1996)

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

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