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S.—died October 15, 1978, Tucson, Arizona), American photojournalist noted for his compelling photo-essays, which were characterized by a strong sense of empathy and social conscience.At age 14 Smith began to use photography to aid his aeronautical studies, and within a year he had become a photographer for two local newspapers.While photographing this project he was severely beaten by several local factory workers who were opposed to the revelations that his camera exposed.
He once said that he saw his photographs of World War II not strictly as a vehicle through which to convey news events but also as “a powerful emotional catalyst” that would help expose the tragedies of war and prevent them from occurring again.
He was critically wounded while covering the invasion of Okinawa in 1945.
Noel, impressed with his photography, pushed him to submit his works to the news sources.
Smith graduated from the Wichita North High School in 1936. In the aftermath of his father's death, Smith's morals and values were carved into stone.
Smith moved to New York City and by 1938 he had begun to work for Newsweek.
He became known there for his incessant perfectionism and thorny personality and eventually Smith was fired from Newsweek.(1951), contains many of his most memorable prints.Smith lived in the village on and off for many months, and the understanding and empathy he gained is apparent in his photographs of the villagers’ daily struggle to draw life from exhausted soil.During the next two years he underwent 32 operations.In 1947, toward the end of his painful convalescence, he took his first photograph since his injury.Salt was thrown into the wounds he and his mother endured when the news of the town used the story and twisted the death into a falsity.The truth of the circumstances of the situation had been lost.Almost simultaneously, he began a series of photographs of New York street scenes taken from the window of his loft on Sixth Avenue.Part of the series was published in (1975), deals with the residents of a Japanese fishing village who suffered poisoning and gross disfigurement from the mercury wastes of a nearby chemical company.When the little boy was only nine years old and asking his mother for money to buy photographs of airplanes, the child was given his first camera.In 1927 Nettie gave him her old camera in hopes that he would begin to take his own photographs. When her nine year old boy, who would later become the most esteemed photographer in history, came to her with a full roll of shots, she would develop the film for him in her own homemade darkroom.