Blue Earth
Glazer's Camera

Thomas J. Abercrombie, 1930-2006


Thomas J. Abercrombie, a photographer for National Geographic for nearly 40 years, died April 3 of complications from open-heart surgery at the age of 75.

Abercrombie was born in Stillwater, Minn., in 1930. In addition to taking photographs on seven continents, he was the first journalist to reach the South Pole in 1957, one year after joining the National Geographic staff.

Abercrombie was the first person to win both the Newspaper Photographer of the Year (1954) and the Magazine Photographer of the Year (1959) awards. After retiring from National Geographic in 1993, he became a geography professor at George Washington University.

Abercrombie was married to fellow National Geographic photographer Lynn Abercrombie for 53 years, and the two often worked on assignments together. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Bruce and Mari, and grandchildren.