Robert Capa (American, born Hungary, 1913–1954)
Gelatin silver print
9 1/2 x 14 in. (24.1 x 35.5 cm)
Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987 (1987.1100.501)
For twenty-two years as a war correspondent, Capa was a witness to the twentieth century's most momentous events: the Spanish Civil War, the London blitz, World War II, the birth of Israel, and the war in Indochina; he died after stepping on a mine while covering this last conflict. Capa could just as easily have perished on D-Day when he made this unforgettable photograph while wading ashore in Normandy with one of the first landings of soldiers on Omaha Beach. Capa made seventy-nine photographs of the first hours of the invasion. Tragically, a careless lab assistant ruined all but seven negatives, the only photographic record of the first wave.