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Milton Rogovin

I am in love with the work of Milton Rogovin. Years ago, I bought this book.

It’s one I go back to often because it showcases photographs of people over four decades. It also tells the most fascinating and heartbreaking stories of their lives. Every single time my father is here, he asks for this book and spends most of his time rereading the stories. Revisiting these people.

Rogovin has a talent for revealing people. Revealing the world. He documents their struggles as well as their strengths. When I look at his portraits, I want to know these people. Want to know about them. Sometimes, I just want to hug them, but other times, I find my soul warmed by an image. Like this one.

Photographs like these make a writer want to tell stories.

Just look.

There are so, so many more.

Milton Rogovin’s own life story is something out of a book. He just celebrated his 96th birthday, having spent fifty years photographing people. He’s also had his share of hard times. I clipped this from his website, one you might visit to learn the whole story. He started out as an optometrist. 🙂

**Rogovin was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1952. The Buffalo News headline about his testimony named him “Buffalo’s Top Red” and the persecution that followed significantly impacted his business. Rogovin later described that though his voice had been silenced, he would not be silenced. In 1958, he picked up his camera and began to capture images that communicated his deep desire for a more just and equal society. Rogovin later earned a Master of Arts in American Studies from the University at Buffalo in 1972, where he taught documentary photography until 1974.**

There’s so much more. Visit the site and get to know his story and his work. I’m in awe of both the man and his wife, Anne. They both worked so hard to show the world another side of life. There’s a photograph of the two at the bottom of his official website. Here are two links. The fist is his official website and it has so much information. The second is a place where you can purchase his publications and has a little info about upcoming projects as well.

Milton Rogovin – Social Documentary Photographer

Milton Rogovin


  1. January 30, 2006    

    Those are compelling photographs.

  2. January 30, 2006    

    Especially when you get the story behind them. That young boy is a part of a mining family. I want that book pretty badly, but I know I’ll cry a lot reading it. 🙂

  3. January 30, 2006    

    What strong photos!
    It takes a very special photographer to be able to do people well, to catch more than just their image. I’m with you. I love these photos.

  4. January 30, 2006    

    Betty, you will love the whole story. It’s amazing. The government basically blacklisted him then later they wanted to put his photos in the Library of Congress. 🙂

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