Lucien Aigner

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Lucien Aigner (14 September 1901 – 29 March 1999) was a Hungarian photographer and pioneering photojournalist. He was born in Érsekújvár, Austria-Hungary (now called Nové Zámky in Slovakia) and died in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Aigner's first camera, a Brownie, was acquired at age nine and was used to photograph his family. By 1926, Aigner was a reporter for Az Est, the Hungarian newspaper group, and soon became a photographer with them. During this time, Aigner became a Leica user.

As the Paris correspondent of the London General Press at the Stresa Conference of 1935, Aigner photographed Benito Mussolini, who was about to sneeze as the picture was taken. The photo made the cover of Newsweek in 1940, and established Aigner as an important photojournalist. In 1941 he emigrated from France to the United States to escape Nazi persecution.

Aigner then spent time at Princeton University taking photographs of Albert Einstein. The photos of Einstein are among Aigner's most famous, and were reportedly Einstein's favorite photos of himself.

Lucien Aigner was the older brother of fashionable leather-goods manufacturer Etienne Aigner.


  • Jeffrey, Ian et al. (1997). The Photography Book. London:Phaidon Press Limited. ISBN 0-7148-4488-8
  • Bruce Silverstein Gallery release [1]

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