Joe O'Donnell (photojournalist)

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Joe O'Donnell
Joe O'Donnell (photojournalist).jpg
Born(1922-05-07)May 7, 1922
Johnstown, Pennsylvania
DiedAugust 9, 2007(2007-08-09) (aged 85)
Nashville, Tennessee

Joseph Roger "Joe" O'Donnell (May 7, 1922 – August 9, 2007) was an American documentarian, photojournalist and a photographer for the United States Information Agency.


Born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, his most famous work was documenting photographically the immediate aftermath of the atomic bomb explosions at Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945 and 1946 as a Marine photographer.

He died in Nashville, Tennessee.


A controversy followed the printing of his obituary in the press. Some of the photographs that had been attributed to O'Donnell were actually shot by other photographers.[1] A photograph of a saluting John F. Kennedy Jr. during the funeral for his father in 1963 was taken by Stan Stearns for United Press International, not by O'Donnell. O'Donnell also claimed credit for a photograph showing Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill during a wartime meeting in Tehran, Iran, in 1943, but O'Donnell is not known to have been in Tehran at the time.[2]

O'Donnell's son Tyge O'Donnell attributes some of the instances of his father's taking credit for others' work to the onset of dementia in the 1990s.


  1. ^ Wilson, Michael (September 15, 2007), "Known for Famous Photos, Not All of Them His", The New York Times
  2. ^ "The Bizarre Story of Joe O'Donnell by Marianne Fulton - The Digital Journalist (August 2007)". 2008-05-31. Archived from the original on May 31, 2008. Retrieved 2016-02-04.

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