Alfred Eisenstaedt (December 6, 1898 – August 24, 1995) was a German-American photographer and photojournalist. He is renowned for his candid photographs, frequently made using various models of a 35mm Leica rangefinder camera. He is best known for his photograph capturing the celebration of V-J Day.
Eisenstaedt was born in Dirschau (Tczew) in West Prussia, Imperial Germany. His family moved to Berlin in 1906. Eisenstaedt served in the German Army's artillery during World War I, being wounded in 1918. While working as a belt and button salesman in the 1920s in Weimar Germany, Eisenstaedt began taking photographs as a freelancer for the Berliner Tageblatt.
Eisenstaedt was successful enough to become a full-time photographer in 1929. Four years later he photographed a meeting between Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Italy. Other notable pictures taken by Eisenstaedt in his early career include a waiter ice skating in St. Moritz in 1932 and Joseph Goebbels at the League of Nations in Geneva in 1933. Although initially friendly, Goebbels scowled for the photograph when he learned that Eisenstaedt was Jewish.
Because of oppression in Hitler's Nazi Germany, Eisenstaedt emigrated to the United States in 1935, where he lived in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, for the rest of his life. He worked as a photographer for Life magazine from 1936 to 1972. His photos of news events and celebrities, such as Dagmar, Sophia Loren and Ernest Hemingway, appeared on 90 Life covers.