The Extraordinary Career of the Photojournalist Max Desfor

By Alan Taylor, The Atlantic
Suicide Jumper

A curious crowd of thousands of onlookers nervously watch John Ward, as he perched himself on a ledge on the 17th floor of the Gothan Hotel on Fifth Avenue in New York, threatening to jump, July 26, 1938. Several times spectators scurried backward as it appeared ward would leap from his precarious perch. (AP Photo/Max Desfor)

Max Desfor covered many of the most significant events and personalities of the 20th century while working for the Associated Press. Beginning in the 1930s, Desfor traveled the world, photographing daily life, unrest, celebrities, warfare, and more. Much of his reporting took place in Asia, where he documented events in the Pacific during World War II.

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