Ed Clark

Born in 1911 in Nashville, Tennessee, Ed Clark was a quintessential and prolific American photojournalist. Clark began assisting staff photographers at the daily Nashville Tennessean in 1929, and worked for the paper until 1942. He was hired as a stringer for Life in 1936, the publication’s inaugural year, and began his long tenure as a full-time Life staff photographer in 1942. In his work for Life over the next 20 years, Clark held posts in Nashville, Paris, Moscow, London, Hollywood and Washington, D.C. He received a wide range of assignments, from political figures and events, to Hollywood’s celebrities, to charming human interest stories. Working in both the United States and Europe, Clark covered some of the most important subjects of his time, including the post-war rebuilding of Germany and France and the desegregation of schools in Arkansas. In 1962 he was forced to leave Life due to failing eyesight, yet in 1980 advances in ocular surgery restored Clark’s vision and he returned to making photographs in later years. He died in 2000 at the age of 88. Today Clark’s archive is held by the Meserve-Kunhardt Foundation in Pleasantville, New York.

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