Landsburg was born in Seattle, Washington and lived in Portland, Oregon at the time of the eruption. In the weeks leading up to the eruption, Landsburg visited the area many times in order to photographically document the changing volcano. On the morning of May 18, he was within a few miles of the summit. When the mountain exploded, Landsburg must have realized that he would not survive the rapidly approaching ash cloud, but he kept snapping pictures as long as he could. He managed to rewind the film back into its case, replace his camera in its bag, put the bag in his backpack, and then lay himself on top of the backpack in an attempt to protect its contents. Seventeen days later, Landsburg's body was found buried in the ash with his backpack underneath. The film was developed and has provided geologists with valuable documentation of the historic eruption.
- Staff report (January 1981). Robert Landsburg's brave final shots. National Geographic
- Associated Press (June 5, 1980). Another body found in volcano area.
- Associated Press (June 6, 1980). Red tape battled. St. Helens sedate. The Spokesman-Review
- Bunce, Vincent (2000). "Restless Planet: Volcanoes", p.44. Raintree Steck-Vaughn Publishers, Austin. ISBN 0-7398-1327-7.
- Robert Coenraads (2006). "Natural Disasters and How We Cope", p.50. Millennium House, ISBN 978-1-921209-11-6.