Photographer James Whitmore at Yankee Stadium. (Photo by James Whitmore/The LIFE Images Collection)

Photographer James Whitmore at Yankee Stadium. (Photo by James Whitmore/The LIFE Images Collection)

As a newspaper photographer, James Whitmore (1926-c.1966) knew how to get close to the action. He had already worked in 44 countries before he became a LIFE staffer. At the 1953 border riots in Trieste, a grenade went off near him, killing several policemen. When Whitmore got back to his hotel room, he discovered that the grenade’s head and fuse assembly had been blown into the folds of his torn overcoat. Once, at a Vatican ceremony, he found himself so entrapped by throngs that to extricate himself and his film, he kicked the shins of a Swiss Guard who promptly ejected him by passing him over the heads of the crowd. After serving as a LIFE staff photographer until 1962, Whitmore went on to become an art director for Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Adapted from The Great LIFE Photographers

Crowds celebrating earth orbiting space flight of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. (Photo by James Whitmore/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Crowds celebrating earth orbiting space flight of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin. (Photo by James Whitmore/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

More Like This

Dr. Arnold Gesell (C) studying baby at Yale's child psychology lab. (Photo by Carl Mydans/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Herbert Gehr

Imperial Dam in California. (Photo by Horace Bristol/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Horace Bristol

Light pattern produced by a time exposure of the light tipped rotor blades of a grounded helicopter. (Photo by Andreas Feininger/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Andreas Feininger

Ballerinas at George Balanchine's American School of Ballet gathered around accompanist during rehearsal. (Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Alfred Eisenstaedt

Indian leader Mohandas Gandhi reading next to a spinning wheel at home. (Photo by Margaret Bourke-White/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Margaret Bourke-White

State trooper holding burnt cap of a guard taken hostage during riot at Attica State prison. (Photo by John Shearer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

John Shearer