Ralph Morse

1917 - Dec 7, 2014

Ralph Theodore Morse was a career staff photographer for Life magazine. He photographed some of the most widely seen pictures of World War II, the United States space program, and sports events, and was celebrated for his multiple-exposure photographs. Morse's success as an improviser led to his being considered Life magazine's specialist in technical photography. Former managing editor George P. Hunt declared that "If [the] equipment he needed didn't exist, [Morse] built it."
During his thirty years at Life, Morse covered assignments including science, theater, fads and spot news. When first hired by Life and sent to photograph World War II, he was the youngest war correspondent. His pictures documented the war's Pacific and European theatres and the post-war reconstruction of Europe. Morse was the civilian photographer at the signing of the surrender by the Germans to General Dwight Eisenhower. He was the senior staff photographer at the time when Life ceased weekly publication.
Morse photographed the NASA space program from its inception, an assignment which outlasted Life as a weekly magazine.
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