Pulitzer Prize Recipient Photographer. Joe Rosenthal was awarded the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Photography for his iconic image of the United States Flag being raised on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945. “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima,” as the photograph was called, has become one of the most famous images ever taken. The photograph, which depicts six United States Marines raising what was the second flag to be erected on the mountain, was originally disparaged as being staged, but subsequent eyewitness accounts and video footage taken by a Marine camera proved to show a spontaneous event. When the image was first published, the photograph became instantly iconic and was published in numerous newspapers and magazines. It was later used on posters to sell war bonds and was selected to be the model for the Marine Corps War Memorial, which was eventually placed next to Ord-Weitzel Gate at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. The photograph was used for a version of the Marine Corps Memorial at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina. A United States postage stamp was also issued with the image. Born the son of Russian Jewish immigrates, he later converted to Catholicism. His first newspaper job was in 1932 as a reporter-photographer for the “The San Francisco News” in California, where he attended the University of San Francisco. With his impaired vision, he was unable to serve in the military during World War II, but he served as a wartime photo-journalist first in North Africa and then for the Associated Press in the Pacific Theater. After the war he was employed by the "San Francisco Chronicle" as a staff photographer for thirty-five years. Besides the Pulitzer Prize, he was inducted into the International Photograph Hall of Fame and given posthumously the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award. The camera he used for the award-wining photograph is on displayed at the International Museum of Photograph and Film in Rochester, New York. At the age of 94, he died of natural causes.
Bio by: Elizabeth Reed