JERUSALEM — Veteran Israeli photographer David Rubinger, whose photo of Israeli paratroopers at the Western Wall holy site became an iconic image of the 1967 Mideast war, has died at age 92, his children said Thursday.
Rubinger worked as a photojournalist for TIME-LIFE magazine for nearly half a century. His portraits span the history of Israel, from the front lines of Israel’s major wars to intimate photos of Israeli prime ministers and Jewish immigrants.
His most famous photo was of the paratroopers after Israeli forces captured the Western Wall and east Jerusalem in 1967.
“Frequently these days, when looking back over the years, I find myself asking how I could have been so lucky,” Rubinger wrote in his biography, “Israel Through My Lens: Sixty Years as a Photojournalist.”
“I went through ten wars unscathed and survived countless other high-risk situations, and I have reached the peak of the photographic profession, with worldwide recognition for my work, being the oldest person on the masthead of TIME, one of the world’s most prestigious magazines,” he said.
Rubinger was born in Vienna in 1924 and immigrated to Palestine in 1939. He discovered photography while serving in the British army’s Jewish Brigade in World War II. He was the first photographer to be awarded Israel’s highest honor, the Israel Prize, in 1997.
“There are those who write the pages of history, and there are those who illustrate them through their camera’s lens. Through his photography, David eternalized history as it will be forever etched in our memories,” said Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.