Photograph by William Anders, NASA
In a year of war, violence and tumult, the Apollo 8 mission gave Americans a new source of pride in their achievements—and gave the planet a new view of its place in the cosmos.
The Face of AIDS
Photograph by Therese Frare
Therese Frare’s scene of the deathbed of AIDS patient David Kirby gave the illness a human face. Its use in a Benetton ad blurred the lines between commerce and public provocation.
Ali Vs. Liston
Photograph by Neil Leifer
Neil Leifer’s iconic image of Muhammad Ali towering triumphant over Sonny Liston pinpoints the moment Ali became a larger-than-life legend.
A Portrait of Domestic Violence
Photograph by Donna Ferrato
The first published photo to record an act of domestic violence unfolding, Donna Ferrato’s shocking picture brought the issue of spousal abuse out of the shadows.
The Pillow Fight
Photograph by Harry Benson
In his depiction of the Beatles' playful romp at a Paris hotel, Harry Benson distills a magic moment: John, Paul, George and Ringo on the eve of incomparable stardom.
Zapruder Frame 313
Photograph by Abraham Zapruder
Still by still, Abraham Zapruder's home movie showed the world the assassination of President Kennedy. But the most infamous frame was kept from view.
Photograph by Sam Nzima
Sam Nzima’s photo of Hector Pieterson, slain in the Soweto uprising, changed the lives not just of the people in the picture, but of all the people of South Africa.
Photograph by Richard Prince
His luminous photographs of Marlboro ads, minus the text, made Richard Prince a deeply controversial—and eventually very wealthy—artist of appropriation.
The Somalia Famine
Photograph by James Nachtwey
Mass tragedies, as photojournalist James Nachtwey says, happen to individuals. His focus on the individual victims of Somalia's famine led to the saving of 1.5 million lives.
Photograph by Ron Galella
This candid shot of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by a paparazzi pioneer with a disregard for restraining orders embodies all that is controversial and artful about celebrity portraiture.
Photograph by Philippe Halsman
In a world before Photoshop, it took the ingenuity of Salvador Dali and photographer Philippe Halsman—plus some deft cat-throwing—to produce this gravity-defying scene.
The Falling Man
Photograph by Richard Drew
Most images of 9/11 depict destruction on a massive scale. But Richard Drew’s quiet picture of one man falling from the towers conveys the tragedy of every life lost that day.
Photograph by Jeff Widener
The Chinese citizen standing up to a row of tanks in Jeff Widener's iconic Tiananmen Square image became a global symbol of dignity in the face of violent repression.
Tragedy In Iraq
Photograph by Chris Hondros
Chris Hondros’ photograph of a 5-year-old girl covered in her parents’ blood brought the plight of the Iraq War’s civilian casualties to America’s attention, and the world’s.
Photograph by Robert Capa
When Robert Capa caught the face of an American soldier crawling onto the beach at Normandy, he captured the definitive image of D-Day and the turning of the tide of World War II.
Photograph by Harold Edgerton
An engineer by training, Harold “Doc” Edgerton wanted to make visible that which the eye couldn’t see. His wondrous drop of milk ushered in a new era of high-speed photography.
The Body of Emmett Till
Photograph by David Jackson
The brutally beaten body of Emmett Till was photographed at his mother’s request, so that the world could help her fight for justice for her son and ensure he did not die in vain.
Lunch Atop a Skyscraper
We don't know their names, nor the photographer who immortalized them, but these men lunching 800 feet up show the daredevil spirit behind Manhattan's vertical expansion.
The Babe Bows Out
Photograph by Nat Fein
On the day the Yankees retired Babe Ruth’s number, Nat Fein’s instinct to shoot him from behind paid homage not only to the baseball legend but to the House that Ruth Built.