Nat Fein Biography

Nat Fein (1914 – 2000) was an American photographer most well-known for photographing Babe Ruth, capturing the famous baseball player on the pitch for the last time before his death and winning the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for the photograph, The Babe Bows Out. Fein called himself, “just a human-interest photographer,” although he took thousands of photographs evoking life in New York and carried the distinction of having taken the most celebrated photograph in sports history by the New York Times in 1992. Known for setting a scene correctly, he would climb buildings and bridges to get the perfect shot he was after. New York following World War II was among Fein’s main subject matter.

Nathaniel Fein was born in Manhattan, New York and was raised on the Lower East side. He worked as a press photographer for the New York Herald Tribune for thirty-three years where Albert Einstein, Ty Cobb, Queen Elizabeth and Harry S. Truman were among many of the public figures he photographed with a speed Graphic camera. Fein served as a photographer in the Air Forces during World War II, then returned to The Herald Tribune and remained there until it went out of business in 1966. He won more press awards than any of his contemporaries and is remembered as one of the greatest twentieth century photojournalists who captured the heart and heroes of New York.

Nat Fein’s photographs appeared in Edward Steichen’s Family of Man show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1955 and a collection of his photos were published as Nat Fein’s Animals (Gilbert Press, 1955).