In the field of digital photography, now that everybody with a smartphone and Instagram account can make their snaps public, to have the most viewed photo in the world is quite an achievement. And now it looks like the photographer behind that iconic image will have a chance to do it all again.
At the tender age of ten, Charles “Chuck” O’Rear received his first camera. It was a Brownie Box, the original camera for the masses produced by Eastman Kodak. As a kid, though, O’Rear wanted to be a pilot. So he probably didn’t think that the snaps he took on his Brownie would put him on the path to becoming a world-famous photographer.
O’Rear was raised in Missouri and got his first job as a sports photographer for the Butler Daily Democrat. This was followed by stints at the Emporia Gazette and the Kansas City Star. Aged 25 he then moved to California to work for the Los Angeles Times in 1966, partly so that he could enroll his disabled son in a school system more suited to the boy’s needs.