Carl Mydans Bio

Carl Mayer Mydans, American (1907 - 2004)

Carl Mydans was an American photojournalist who was celebrated for his war photography for Life magazine, which he joined in 1936. He first gained notice for his photos of farm families during the Depression. During World War II he and his wife (a Life reporter) were captured by the Japanese and held for almost two years. After their release (1943), he covered the war in Europe with George Silk and others.

Mydans’s best-known photo was of Gen. Douglas MacArthur returning to the Philippines in 1945/ Some of his other more famous pictures include: the bombing of Chongqing, the Japanese surrender aboard the U.S.S. Missouri in 1945; angry French citizens shaving the heads of women accused of sleeping with Germans during the occupation in 1944; a roomful of excited royal youngsters and their staid older relatives in 1954; and a 1950 portrait of Douglas MacArthur smoking a pipe.

But he also photographed the war from the viewpoint of the ordinary soldier or sailor. "Resourceful and unruffled, Mr. Mydans sent back pictures of combat that even now define how some remember World War II, Korea, and other conflicts," noted the New York Times. .


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