Morris Engel


Morris Engel Biography


Morris Engel was born in Brooklyn, New York on April 8, 1918. He attended Abraham Lincoln High School and joined the Photo League in 1936, where he met Aaron Siskind, Berenice Abbott and Paul Strand, who invited him to work on his film "Native Land.”

Engel became a staff photographer on the newspaper "PM" before joining the Navy in 1941. As a member of Combat Photo Unit 8 that landed on Normandy on D-Day, he received a citation from Captain Edward Steichen.

After his return, Engel worked for many national magazines including "Ladies Home Journal", "McCall's", "Fortune", "Colliers" and others. His initial interest for motion pictures reached a new level when he built a lightweight hand-held 35mm camera with Charles Woodruff. This camera was a major factor in the production of his first film, Little Fugitive. One of the first successful American "independent films," Little Fugitive earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Writing, Motion Picture Story and a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival.

Engel was married to fellow photographer, Ruth Orkin. He died of cancer in 2005.