his 50-year career as a photographer and photojournalist, Leigh Wiener
photographed every U.S. president from Truman to Reagan, Hollywood
legends from Marilyn to Marlon, musicians from Miles to
Sinatra, poets, scientists, playwrights and industry titans. Born
in 1929, Wiener grew up in New York City, where his father worked as a newspaper man.
Arthur “Wegee” Felig, a family friend who worked as a freelance news photographer, first
taught Wiener to look at pictures. By 15, he had sold a photo to Collier’s
He moved to Los Angeles in 1946, working in the library at the Los Angeles Times
His first big break as a photographer came in 1949, when he photographed the empty swing of Kathy
Fiscus. The three-year-old captured the world's attention when she fell down an empty
well, but by the time rescuers found her, she had died. Wiener's photo ran on the front page of more
than 100 papers around the country.
Wiener went on to become a staff photographer at the Los Angeles Times
and then shot freelance
- Sports Illustrated
and many more.
He created and co-hosted the Emmy Award-winning half-hour television
show "Talk about Pictures"
KNBC, Channel 4, in Los Angeles and received numerous awards for
his football motion picture documentary “A
Slice of Sunday.”
Leigh Wiener's photographs are in the permanent collections of the
National Portrait Gallery and several national museums. He also published
several books that include his photos. He passed away in 1993, leaving
behind a rich archive of images that uniquely captures the second half
of the 20th century.