Ruth Robertson

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Ruth Robertson
Photo of Ruth Robertson.jpg
Robertson working as a war correspondent with Speed Graphic Alaska 1945
Born(1905-05-24)May 24, 1905
Taylorville, Illinois
DiedFebruary 17, 1998(1998-02-17) (aged 92)
Known forPhotography

Ruth Agnes McCall Robertson Marietta (May 24, 1905 – February 17, 1998) was an American photojournalist known most for photographing Angel Falls in Venezuela and surveying them to establish them as tallest waterfalls in the world published in National Geographic magazine, November 1949. She was born in Taylorville, Illinois.


Robertson had been a journalist during World War II and after she returned to her routine job at the New York Herald Tribune, felt that her "life lost its thrill."[1] In 1949, Robertson eagerly accepted an assignment to Venezuela.[1] She became interested in Angel Falls and initially took aerial photographs.[1] On April 23, 1949, she set out on an exhibition to reach the falls.[1] They traveled on Rio Acanaan in dugout canoes and endured downpours of rain.[1] On May 12, they finally reached the falls.[1] The expedition was the first to reach the foot of the falls and was also the first to measure it.[1]



Books and articles by Robertson or with photographs by Robertson:

  • "Skyway to Asia", photos and captions by Ruth Robertson, Chicago Tribune, May 6, 1945, pC10; Des Moines Sunday Register, June 17, 1945
  • "ALSIB Story Compiled by Newswoman", Flying Magazine, October 1945 [1]
  • "Canada, The Link--USA to USSR," by Vilhjalmur Stefansson, The Rotarian, November 1946 [2]
  • "Jungle Journey to the World's Highest Waterfall," by Ruth Robertson, National Geographic, November 1949
  • "Comparison for a Cataract", Life magazine, May 2, 1955 [3]
  • Churun Meru--The Tallest Angel: Of Jungles and Other Journeys by Ruth Robertson, Whitmore Publishing, 1975. ISBN 0-87426-039-6
  • "Over the Edge" by Dan Morrison with photos by Ruth Robertson, TDC Magazine, May 1992

Articles about Robertson:

  • "Girl Photog Runs Afoul Army in Alaska", Editor and Publisher, 1945
  • "Peoria Girl Goes Overseas," Peoria Journal-Transcript, January 15, 1945
  • "Topics of the Times," New York Times May 18, 1949
  • "Angel on Devil's Mountain," Newsweek, June 6, 1949
  • "Treasure Hunt in a Lost World," by Richard F. Dempewolff, Popular Mechanics, October 1950 [4]
  • "A Photographic Gift of a Venezuelan Trek," National Geographic, September 1990


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Polk, Milbry; Tiegreen, Mary (2001). Women of Discovery: A Celebration of Intrepid Women who Explored the World. Scriptum Editions. p. 189. ISBN 9781902686172.

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