During the World Wars in the 20th century, women started to step out of their houses to be bread winners for their families. Steps taken by some courageous women back then are responsible for females being such an important and a big part of the workforce today. While it wouldn’t have been easy, they paved the way for the rest of us, and are heroes who should be celebrated.


One such an amazing woman, a photographer for the Observer for over 50 years, passed away yesterday, 21st December, 2014. Having joined the Observer in 1949, Jane Bown captured some outstanding cultural and political figures during the 20th Century. The editor of the Observer, John Mulholland called her “part of the Observer’s DNA,” according to a report by BBC News.


Mulholland said, “From the Queen to the Beatles, Samuel Beckett to Bjork, John Betjeman to Bob Hope, her beautifully observed pictures have become part of our cultural landscape… She is part of the Observer’s DNA – her contribution to the paper’s history, as well to Britain’s artistic legacy, is immense, and will long survive her. He added, “She was loved by her colleagues and adored by our readers. We will miss her hugely.”


[Picture Credits: The Guardian]


Earlier this year, The Guardian did a profile on Bown highlighting the struggles in her personal life. She was born to unmarried parents and was bought up by her maternal aunts. She later found out that one of her aunts was in fact, her mother. After taking a course at Guildford School of Art, Bown borrowed £50 from one of her aunts and started to work for the Observer. She later said that it was the only newspaper that she wants to work for.


The Observer’s restaurant critic, Jay Rayner, called Bown’s method “entirely disarming.” He tweeted: “It was a huge honour to work her on a few stories.We shall not see the like… “Jane Bown’s method was entirely disarming: a camera pulled from a shopping bag, a gaze as if to check the subject was interesting enough. Then just a dozen or so shots and she was done. Somewhere in there would be an image that most everyone else would have taken 100 to get.”