The Short Story of the Iconic Photo 'The Falling Man'

15 years after the tragic day, Time Magazine published a video from their "Behind the Photo" series about "The Falling Man,” captured by well-known Associated Press Photographer Richard Drew. Apart from the published images of 9/11 attacks, this photo made viewers feel the despair and horror in an unusual way.

This image was forgotten for a long time, but beyond any doubt, it is one of the most memorable photos of the 9/11 attacks. The name “The Falling Man” was first used by Author Tom Junod in an article published by Esquire. Despite much effort and investigation, the identity of the man has never been found; nonetheless, the image became iconic in a short time.  

Editorial images are exact reflections of the incidents, but when one takes you into the scene and makes you feel that moment, then that image becomes an iconic photo. This man wasn’t the only victim who had to jump out of the windows, but he was the symbol of all the innocent and desperate people who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks.

There is also a documentary about this image you can find in Patrick Hall's article, A Documentary on the Most Famous September 11th Photograph No One Has Ever Seen.

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3 Comments

Chris Himstedt's picture

THIS, makes me cry. I have been hiding BEHIND my camera for more than 30 years trying to capture one moment at a time that can be used for something good, later. Mostly advertisements, but over the past many years, smiles, joy, memories that can last a lifetime.
I have a respect for journalist photographers. I admire their photos and what they do, but I'm not sure I could do their job. Too much sadness in the world that they need to capture and share. I believe my heart would hurt too much. Sure, there is joy also, but how often do we get those stories.
God, help us all.

Burak Erzincanli's picture

You are absolutely right Sir

Isaac Alvarez's picture

This is awesome, thanks for sharing this. This definitely touched my heart.