Author Topic: ?The Most Beautiful Suicide? (WARNING: Graphic Photos and Very Sad Story  (Read 1403 times)

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Offline W1RC

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On May 1st, 1947, 23 year old Evelyn McHale jumped off the Empire State Building?s 86th floor  observation deck landing on the roof of a parked automobile.  Four minutes later a young photography student, Robert Wiles, snapped a photo that went viral and was published in LIFE Magazine later that month in the May 12th edition.  I remember seeing it many years ago when LIFE was everywhere....... and never forgot it.  Apparently I was not the only one....

Even though she fell over a thousand feet to her death Evelyn appears to be only sleeping.  There is something peaceful about the photograph that is hard to explain. 

Seventy five years later this photograph is still considered one of the best examples of photojournalism of all time.  There is still great interest in ?The Most Beautiful Suicide? as the photograph was names and there are a large number of web sites devoted to this sad incident and photojournalism as iconography.  Of course Evelyn never intended to become a pop culture icon (in fact the very idea would have likely horrified her), she was simply a young woman who committed suicide.

In 1962 Andy Warhol used the photograph in one of his iconographs.

This is an excellent site.....,