The First Electronic Church of America

S A I N T S   &   B I R T H D A Y   P A G E

June 14, 1997

       Saint Of The Day:

    Margaret Bourke-White

Was like those early comers to the gold fields of California. All they had to do was reach down in the streams and pick up the nuggets of gold and put them in their pockets. Like the early gold-rush people, Ms. Bourke-White pioneered a new field -- photojournalism -- and she made it all look very easy indeed. Few, if any, young women today, hey, not even many young men, would find such easy pickings as Ms. Bourke-White found when she showed up at the New York offices of FORTUNE magazine in 1929. Henry R. Luce was fascinated with her, and with her photography, and hired her on the spot, because she not only took good pictures, she had already matriculated from Cornel University, where she developed an expertise at shooting industry and architecture. She went on to capitalize on that expertise in corporate America, which was now using photography, almost as fine art, to illustrate and promote and advertise its goods and services. Ms. Bourke-White was not only the first woman photographer at FORTUNE, she was also able to swing a half-time contract, which allowed her to set up her own commercial studio in the Chrysler Building while she was working for Luce. In 1936, she was the only woman hired to join the staff of LIFE, a magazine that Luce designed with people like Bourke-White in mind, people who will do almost anything to get the perfect picture. For LIFE, she traveled the world, seeking out subjects of intense human interest: survivors of the drought-stricken dust bowls of the Midwest, the people of a very small town near a dam under construction near New Deal, Montana, the down and out sharecroppers of the poverty-stricken rural South. She shot the sharecroppers while traveling with the novelist Erskine Caldwell; she did the pictures, he did the words, on a story that illustrated the environmental, personal and social decay of the South in the 1930s. Their work ended up inside hard covers: "You Have Seen Their Faces," an outstanding and historic piece of photojournalism that showed a lifetime of futility reflected in the faces of the gaunt and the grotesque. Bourke-White and Caldwell did important picture stories in Russia on the eve of World War II. She was the only foreign photographer in Russia at the time. During the war, Bourke-White worked simultaneously for the U.S. Army Air Corps and LIFE magazine. She was with the Air Corps in England and in North Africa, she photographed the extraordinary Allied shelling of Monte Cassino in Italy, and she rode with General Patton's Third Army documenting the last days of the war. When U.S. troops marched into Buchenwald's death camp, she was there, and her pictures of the dead and of the living dead filled a book, "The Living Dead of Buchenwald." She worked on a big Ghandi story in India, she covered the Korean War, she did a remarkable photo essay on the modern Jesuits that took more than a year of travel around the world. She was a news photographer. But somehow her news always seemed to go beyond the news, to the metaphysical and human realities that drove the news and the people who made it. Parkinson's Disease cut short her career in the mid-fifties. She died in Stamford, Connecticut in 1971.

MODEL: When opportinity knocked, Bourke-White was ready to answer the call. Her timing was right. But she wasn't simply lucky. She knew what she was doing, and she would have succeeded in her profession even if she hadn't been a beautiful and fascinating woman. So, you guys and gals who want to make it, be ready. Learn all you can, and learn it better than anyone else.

Your Birthday Today:

June 14
Day of Guts and Glory

Thriving, Courageous, Enterprising

Domineering, Stressed out, Restless

Sharp as a razor. If you were born on June 14, you are very intense and keenly aware of the world around you. You have strong opinions and will not hesitate to present them and persuade others to agree. Knowing people like you do, you are capable of convincing others and exposing hypocrisy wherever it raises its ugly head. Ruled by the number 5 and the planet Mercury, you should learn to quell your impulsive urges and change more slowly.

Push forward. Women born on June 14 are mentally and physically forceful, often seen as pushy. Men are also strong but tend to act like little dictators, which rubs others the wrong way. Both sexes are very critical and can make scathing remarks when in a saucy mood.

For duty and humanity. You are very loyal and courageous when fighting for wha t you believe is right. Once your goal is in sight, you don't give up and are not easily dissuaded or conned. A pretty nasty enemy, you are not above taking revenge on your foes.

Crisis management. You perform well under pressure, managing problems and conflicts like an experienced showman calmly juggling chain saws. In relationships, you can seem domineering since you often spot and correct problems long before your partner notices, instead of giving that person a chance to deal with things.

Some advice: Don't hover over your loved ones; let them learn from their own mistakes. Tone down your intensity and learn balance. Give time and affection back to family and friends. Don't be so egotistical.

Also born on this day: Dorothy McGuire (actress) Gene Barry (actor) Harriet Beecher Stowe (novelist, uncle Tom's Cabin) Vanessa Harwood (dancer) Che Guevara (Cuban revolutionary) Jerzy Kozinsky (writer, Being There) Donald Trump (real estate magnate) Steffi Graf (tennis champ) Eric Heiden (Olympic speed skater) Margaret Bourke-White (photographer, writer, war corespondent)