The iconic image

May 14, 2013 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: photojournalism.

Few of us get to leave the impression that Joe Rosenthal did.

Rosenthal was the 33-year-old Associated Press photographer who took the picture of Marines raising the flag during the fierce battle of Iwo Jima in the Pacific in 1945. That image struck an instant chord with viewers, and it has been stuck in our consciousness ever since. It has been reproduced millions of times in many forums and is the basis for the giant Marine memorial that overlooks the nation’s capital.

Rosenthal was an excellent photographer during his entire career — not just a guy with a camera at the right place and time. He died on Sunday at the age of 94. (Check out what the San Francisco Chronicle, the newspaper where he worked for many years, had to say about him; also take a look at the retrospective at Poynter.)

(Posted Aug. 22, 2006)

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