John G. Morris died Friday at the age of one hundred years-old. He was a historical figure of American photojournalism.
John G. Morris was born on December 7, 1916 in Shade, New Jersey. He grew up in Chicago. While studying for the University of Chicago in the 1930s, he became passionate about photojournalism and founded a student magazine based on the model of Life. He joined the same newspaper in 1938. Shortly afterwards, he published the photographs of the Landing of Robert Capa and accompanied this one in September 1944 on the Norman front. He was the one who saved the eleven shots of Robert Capa from D-Day.
After the war, John G. Morris became editor of the Ladies’ Home Journal. In 1955, he initiated the exhibition The Family of Man at the MoMA, bringing together nearly 500 photographs by nearly 270 artists. Shortly thereafter, he became the first executive director of Magnum Photos. He remained in the agency for nearly 11 years, from 1953 to 1964. That same year, he joined the Washington Post. During the Vietnam War, he was director of photography for the Times.
In 1983, he left America for Paris and married Tana Hoban. He joined National Geographic for nearly six years.
John G. Morris was also a discreet, humble and talented photographer. His photographs taken with his Rolleiflex were exhibited in 2004 at the International Center of Photography (Somewhere in France).