Eliot Elisofon (1911-1973) was born on the Lower East Side of New York City to immigrant parents of modest means. His mother ensured that he was well-educated and took him to museums, concerts and parks. Elisofon’s childhood struggles inspired his mission as a photographer; whether photographing the neighborhood he grew up in, the poor communities in the South, or exploring other countries, the human condition remained central to his work. His humble upbringing drove Elisofon to succeed and to improve the world around him. From his perspective, "art, to be true art, must grow out of human beings and it must help human beings live a better and fuller life. It must extend the field of feeling and vision we are born with.” He became one of the most important LIFE magazine photographers, shooting for the magazine during its heyday.