Joe Scherschel posed in front of combat photo he had taken.(Photo by Yale Joel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Joe Scherschel posed in front of combat photo he had taken.(Photo by Yale Joel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

With his parents both dead, at age 13 he moved in with his big brother, Frank Scherschel, who was already an established photographer. Frank designated Joe (1921-2004) as his “vice president,” which entailed holding lights and doing some printing. Initially this turned Joe off to photography. “I figured he was trying to brush off some work on me, and there was no way he was going to do that,” Joe remembered. “But later, when I did realize I had an interest, he ignored me.” Nevertheless, Joe began to pick up Frank’s extra jobs. Unlike Frank, a famous LIFE combat photographer who was thrust into peril on the battlefield, Joe mainly faced danger on the front lines of America’s desegregation battles.

Adapted from The Great LIFE Photographers

Students Steve Poster and Jessalyn Gray (fore C) talking at side of taxi while crowd of White Supremacists taunt them. (Photo by Joe Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Students Steve Poster and Jessalyn Gray (fore C) talking at side of taxi while crowd of White Supremacists taunt them. (Photo by Joe Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

North Korean soldier contemptuously sticking out his tongue at Life photographer on the second day of cease-fire peace talks. (Photo by Joe Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

North Korean soldier contemptuously sticking out his tongue at Life photographer on the second day of cease-fire peace talks. (Photo by Joe Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Jimmy the horse rollerskating down road in front of its farm. (Photo by Joe Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Jimmy the horse rollerskating down road in front of its farm. (Photo by Joe Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

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