Blue Earth
Glazer's Camera

Joe Rosenthal, 1911-2006


Joe Rosenthal, made famous by his World War II photograph of soldiers raising an American flag over Iwo Jima, died Aug. 20 at age 94 in Novato, Calif.

His iconic Iwo Jima image, taken with a Speed Graphic camera set at 1/400th of a second on Feb. 23, 1945, is considered one of the most famous and reproduced photographs of all time, earning Rosenthal a Pulitzer Prize.

Rosenthal, who was born in Washington, D.C., moved to San Francisco in 1930 and found work as a photographer for several news agencies.

Poor eyesight rendered him unfit for Army service during the war, so he became a merchant-marine combat photographer before joining the Associated Press and spending a large part of the war following the U.S. Marines in the Pacific Theater of Operations. The Marines later recognized Rosenthal as an honorary member of the corps.