Written By: Alice Gabriner

On June 5, 1967 in the first hours of the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War, LIFE Magazine photographer Paul Schutzer was killed while riding in a half-track personnel carrier heading toward Gaza.

When he’d been hired in 1957, Schutzer was the youngest LIFE staff photographer. Over the course of a decade, until his death at age 36, he shot 491 stories for the magazine, including the 1960 Presidential campaign. At the Kennedy inauguration, he captured the iconic photograph of a beaming President with his glamorous wife, a symbol of the Camelot mystique.

During the magazine’s heyday, LIFE’s picture stories brought readers up close to unfolding events. For a photographer, an assignment was a passport to far-flung worlds and the front lines of history. Behind the scenes, Schutzer recorded the lives of leaders such as Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon and Kennedy, as well as Martin Luther King Jr. Describing her father’s work, Schutzer’s daughter Dena explains, “He focused on the people in power and the powerless, the people who were responsible for the events and those who were affected by them.”

From tensions at the Berlin Wall, to life in the war-torn villages of Vietnam, to the fight for desegregation by men and women demanding basic civil rights, the stories Schutzer covered required him to take numerous risks. Before boarding a bus heading to the Jim Crow south, he once wrote to his wife Bernice, “I’m going on the bus with the Freedom Riders. The magazine at first ordered me not to go, but the very reasons for not going, is the reason I must… This story should be told.” He was working at a time of American greatness, Bernice now recounts. “He wasn’t jaded or cynical.” He wanted to connect and did so by getting close. He carefully edited his own work after each assignment, telling his wife that he would have been lucky to have taken even ten great photographs in a lifetime.

Schutzer traveled extensively through Eastern Europe, where he was deeply affected by what he saw at the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp. His family tells LIFE that, particularly as a Jewish person living and working in the post-war years, he was inspired by the spirit and promise of the new state of Israel. So it was no surprise that, with war looming there in 1967, he was eager to be there. Determined, he prevailed on his friend Moshe Dayan, then Israel’s Minister of Defense, to embed with an assault unit.

He didn’t intend to stay long, saying to his wife that he was finished with war. He was shot soon after. “One perhaps can console oneself that Paul died where he wanted to die and gave his life for what he felt most. And that is true,” LIFE eulogized the next week. “But we have lost an exceptional, first-rate man in Yiddish this type is called a mensch. Paul was a mensch.”

After his death, LIFE received many condolences and tributes, including from the master photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, who said he admired Schutzer’s work and attitude toward photography. In a telegram, Robert Kennedy wrote, “Paul Schutzer was highly regarded as a professional and a friend of President John Kennedy and all those associated with him. His ability, intelligence, sense of humor, and devotion to his craft will be missed by his colleagues and friends.”

Schutzer’s complete photographic archive, a unique chronicle of the cold war era, has never been viewed, recognized retrospectively or compiled in a book. That is something his family hopes to one day achieve, but on the anniversary of his death here is a look at some of the highlights of that body of work.

President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the Presidential Box overlooking the crowd at inaugural gala, Jan. 20, 1961.

President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the Presidential Box overlooking the crowd at inaugural gala, Jan. 20, 1961.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Jacqueline Kennedy and her husband John F. Kennedy, on eve of his Presidential inauguration, Jan. 19, 1961. They attended a gala hosted by Frank Sinatra at the National Guard Armory, Washington, D.C.

Jacqueline Kennedy and her husband John F. Kennedy, on eve of his Presidential inauguration, Jan. 19, 1961. They attended a gala hosted by Frank Sinatra at the National Guard Armory, Washington, D.C.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Young women swooned at a campaign appearance of presidential candidate John F. Kennedy, late 1960.

Young women swoon at a campaign appearance of presidential candidate John F. Kennedy, late 1960.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

John F. Kennedy prepares a speech as admirers watch from outside a window, Baltimore, September 1960.

John F. Kennedy prepared a speech as admirers watched from outside a window, Baltimore, September 1960.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Supporters of presidential candidate John F. Kennedy, New York City, October 1960.

Supporters of presidential candidate John F. Kennedy, New York City, October 1960.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Sen.John F. Kennedy campaigned in New York City, October 1960.

Sen.John F. Kennedy campaigned in New York City, October 1960.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Supporters of presidential candidate John F. Kennedy on a campaign tour, 1960.

Supporters of presidential candidate John F. Kennedy on a campaign tour, 1960.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

President Kennedy walks hand-in-hand with daughter Caroline on St. Patrick's Day at the White House, March 17, 1961.

President Kennedy walked hand-in-hand with daughter Caroline on St. Patrick’s Day at the White House, March 17, 1961.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Supporters of President John F. Kennedy,1960.

Supporters of President John F. Kennedy, 1960.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

President John F. Kennedy watches a film in Press Secretary Pierre Salinger's office, Feb. 2, 1961.

President John F. Kennedy watched a film in Press Secretary Pierre Salinger’s office, Feb. 2, 1961.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

An East German policeman attempts to stop Western photographers by flashing mirrors into camera lenses. Sept. 8, 1961. A month earlier, East Germany began cordoning off the Eastern sector of the city.

An East German policeman attempted to stop Western photographers by flashing mirrors into camera lenses. Sept. 8, 1961. A month earlier, East Germany began cordoning off the Eastern sector of the city.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

A seventeen-year-old East Berlin youth is helped by two West Berlin police officers after he climbed over the newly constructed wall from East Berlin, October 1961.

A seventeen-year-old East Berlin youth was helped by two West Berlin police officers after he climbed over the newly constructed wall from East Berlin, October 1961.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

A young girl gazes through her apartment window which looks out on barbed wire fencing that tops the nearby Berlin wall, December 1962.

A young girl gazed through her apartment window which looked out on barbed wire fencing that topped the nearby Berlin Wall, December 1962.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Marilyn Monroe and her husband Arthur Miller drive to Connecticut in 1956, shortly after their marriage.

Marilyn Monroe and her husband Arthur Miller drove to Connecticut in 1956, shortly after their marriage.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Sen. John Kennedy with his brother at Robert Kennedy's home in McLean, Va., May 1957.

Sen. John Kennedy with his brother at Robert Kennedy’s home in McLean, Va., May 1957.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Robert Kennedy and his wife Ethel before bedtime at their home in Maclean, Va, April 30, 1957.

Robert Kennedy and his wife Ethel before bedtime at their home in Maclean, Va, April 30, 1957.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

A waiter lights a cigarette for a socialite at the Piedmont ball, 1958, Atlanta, Ga.

A waiter lit a cigarette for a socialite at the Piedmont ball, 1958, Atlanta, Ga.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Lewis Cousins (C) sits in class surrounded by white students. Cousins was the first black student to attend the newly desegregated Maury High School in Norfolk, Va, 1959.

Lewis Cousins (C) sat in a class surrounded by white students. Cousins was the first black student to attend the newly desegregated Maury High School in Norfolk, Va, 1959.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Freedom Riders wait in a 'Colored Waiting Room' in a bus station in Montgomery, Ala., May 1961. The Freedom Riders rode buses throughout the south in the months following the Boynton v. Virginia Supreme Court case, which outlawed racial segregation on public transportation, in order to test and call attention to still existing local policies that ran contrary to national laws.

Freedom Riders waited in a ‘Colored Waiting Room’ at a bus station in Montgomery, Ala., May 1961. The Freedom Riders rode buses throughout the south in the months following the Boynton v. Virginia Supreme Court case, which outlawed racial segregation on public transportation, in order to test and call attention to still existing local policies that ran contrary to national laws.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Near the Mississippi-Alabama border, members of the Alabama National Guard surround a bus carrying freedom riders, May 1961.

Near the Mississippi-Alabama border, members of the Alabama National Guard surrounded a bus carrying freedom riders, May 1961.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Julia Aaron and David Dennis with 25 other freedom riders are escorted by Mississippi National Guardsmen travelling from Montgomery, Ala. to Jackson, Miss., May 1961.

Julia Aaron and David Dennis with 25 other freedom riders were escorted by Mississippi National Guardsmen travelling from Montgomery, Ala. to Jackson, Miss., May 1961.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

White men throw stones at a bus carrying freedom riders protesting segregation in the south, as they travel from Montgomery, Ala., May 1961.

White men threw stones at a bus carrying freedom riders protesting segregation in the south, as they travelled from Montgomery, Ala., May 1961.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King attends a prayer pilgrimage, May 17, 1957, Washington, D.C., on the third anniversary of the landmark Brown v. the Board of Education decision against segregation in public schools.

Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King attended a prayer pilgrimage, May 17, 1957, Washington, D.C., on the third anniversary of the landmark Brown v. the Board of Education decision against segregation in public schools.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Demonstrators at a rallying point for the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom, May 17, 1957, Washington. D.C., held in support of desegregation.

Demonstrators at a rallying point for the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom, May 17, 1957, Washington. D.C., held in support of desegregation.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks in front of the Lincoln Memorial before 25,000 people at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom, May 1957 to mark the third anniversary of the landmark supreme court decision, Brown v. the Board of Education, which outlawed segregation in public schools. Among his landmark early addresses, King's speech that day was known as "Give Us the Ballot."

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke in front of the Lincoln Memorial before 25,000 people at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom, May 1957 to mark the third anniversary of the landmark supreme court decision, Brown v. the Board of Education, which outlawed segregation in public schools. Among his landmark early addresses, King’s speech that day was known as “Give Us the Ballot.”

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Civil rights activists march at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom, May 1957 at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Civil rights activists marched at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom, May 1957 at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

A U.S. Marine holds an injured Vietnamese child while running under fire, November 1965.

A U.S. Marine held an injured Vietnamese child while running under fire, November 1965.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Weary American Marines of 7th Regiment catch some sleep following intense fighting in the area around Cape Batangan during the Vietnam War, November 1965. Marines fought from dawn until dark in temperatures that reached 130 degrees before they secured the beachhead.

Weary American Marines of 7th Regiment slept following intense fighting in the area around Cape Batangan during the Vietnam War, November 1965. Marines fought from dawn until dark in temperatures that reached 130 degrees before they secured the beachhead.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

The eyes and mouth of a Vietcong prisoner are taped by U.S. Marines. This picture ran on the cover of Life's Nov. 26, 1965 issue with the cover line, "The Blunt Reality of War."

The eyes and mouth of a Vietcong prisoner were taped by U.S. Marines. This picture ran on the cover of LIFE’s Nov. 26, 1965 issue with the cover line, “The Blunt Reality of War.”

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Former teamster and labor leader Arthur L. Morgan testifies against Jimmy Hoffa and others during labor racketeering hearings before a Senate Select Committee, August 1958.

Former teamster and labor leader Arthur L. Morgan testified against Jimmy Hoffa and others during labor racketeering hearings before a Senate Select Committee, August 1958.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

A man lovingly combs his girlfriend's hair, photographed for a photo essay entitled "The Italian Man," 1963.

A man lovingly combed his girlfriend’s hair; the photo was part of an essay entitled “The Italian Man,” 1963.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Actress Elke Sommer attends the Cannes Film Festival amid a sea of photographers, May 1962.

Actress Elke Sommer attended the Cannes Film Festival amid a sea of photographers, May 1962.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Israeli children of the Habad sect play with a horse and cart at a farm May 1960.

Israeli children of the Habad sect played with a horse and cart at a farm May 1960.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Israelis dance at the "Last Chance Cafe", a night club in Beersheba, Israel, May 1960.

Israelis danced at the “Last Chance Cafe”, a night club in Beersheba, Israel, May 1960.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

Miriam Stecher, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, shows her prisoner number in reaction to news of the arrest of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi S.S. Colonel, one of chief architects of the holocaust, May 1960.

Miriam Stecher, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, showed her prisoner number in reaction to news of the arrest of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi S.S. Colonel, one of chief architects of the holocaust, May 1960.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

An Israeli man rests beside a newly planted tree, 1965.

An Israeli man rested beside a newly planted tree, 1965.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

This image of an Israeli military vehicle as it heads towards Gaza, then part of Egypt, was one of the last 23 frames taken by Paul Schutzer. He was killed on June 5, 1967, the first day of the Arab-Israeli Six Day War, when the half-track personnel carrier he was riding in took a direct hit from an Egyptian antitank shell.

This image of an Israeli military vehicle as it headed towards Gaza, then part of Egypt, was one of the last 23 frames taken by Paul Schutzer. He was killed on June 5, 1967, the first day of the Arab-Israeli Six Day War, when the half-track personnel carrier he was riding in took a direct hit from an Egyptian antitank shell.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

The last frame on the roll of film found in Schutzer's camera. He was killed by a 57mm Egyptian shell which hit the half-track personnel carrier he was riding in, June 5, 1967, the first day of the Arab-Israeli Six Day War.

The last frame on the roll of film found in Schutzer’s camera. He was killed by a 57mm Egyptian shell which hit the half-track personnel carrier he was riding in, June 5, 1967, the first day of the Arab-Israeli Six Day War.

Paul Schutzer The LIFE Picture Collection/Shutterstock

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