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Friday, November 21, 2014


Ruth Orkin was an award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker. Daughter of a silent film actress, she grew up in Hollywood in the heyday of the 1920s and 1930s. At 17 years old she took a monumental bicycle trip across the United States from Los Angeles to New York City to see the 1939 World’s Fair, and she photographed along the way. While living in New York, Orkin worked at a nightclub photographer and a baby photographer by day. In 1951, LIFE sent Orkin to Israel. From there she traveled to Florence, Italy where she shot her most famous photograph, "American Girl in Italy," part of a series "Don't Be Afraid to Travel Alone." Orkin's model for the series was Nina Lee Craig, a student Orkin met while traveling.

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