Charlotte Brooks

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Charlotte Finkelstein Brooks (September 16, 1918 - March 15, 2014) was an American photographer and photojournalist. From 1951 to 1971, she was a staff photographer for Look and the only woman staff photographer in the magazine's history.


Born in Brooklyn, Brooks took an early interest in photography, working in her own darkroom when she was just 12.

She studied psychology at Brooklyn College and at the University of Minnesota. After a short period in Bernice Abbott's photography class at the New School for Social Research, she studied dance at the school with Barbara Mettler. In 1942, Brooks began to assist Barbara Morgan (photographer) in her studio in Scarsdale, New York, quickly adopting photography as her vocation.[1]

Inspired by Dorothea Lange, she began to produce informative social reform photographs. In 1943, she worked as an assistant to Gjon Mili, doing advertising photography for Life and Vogue. In 1945, she worked freelance with Standard Oil of New Jersey, illustrating the story of oil in home life and in fighting the war.

In 1951, she began her career at Look, first working on advertising assignments. Brooks gradually took on news stories, beginning with the candidacy of Dwight D. Eisenhower for president in 1952. Other assignments included medical stories, education, and the coverage of various American cities. She also photographed many celebrities, including Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball. Ed Sullivan introduced her from his audience as "the best girl photographer." Brooks continued to work at Look until the magazine ceased publication in 1971.[1]


  1. ^ a b Beverly W. Brannan, "Charlotte Brooks (born Sept. 16, 1918): Biographical Essay", The Library of Congress. Retrieved 18 March 2013.

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