Photographer George Lacks in official war correspondents uniform. (Photo by Bill O'meara/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Photographer George Lacks in official war correspondents uniform. (Photo by Bill O’meara/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

George Lacks (1910-1960) spent much of his career in Shanghai, which made sense because he had lived there for years before he joined LIFE and had even been an official photographer for the Chinese government. During a stint in LIFE’S Los Angeles bureau, he photographed a young lawyer in Whittier who was considered a political up-and-comer, as well as a story on the city’s “Divorce Mill.” The rate of 80 breakups a day was then considered staggering. Once, to illustrate the fast clip of the court. Lacks took a portrait of 24 participants and the brief testimony they gave to end their short marriages.

Adapted from The Great LIFE Photographers

Richard Nixon standing in door to his law office. (Photo by George Lacks/The LIFE Images Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Richard Nixon standing in door to his law office. (Photo by George Lacks/The LIFE Images Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Communist soldiers marching through gates of Great Wall, 1946. (Photo by George Lacks/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Communist soldiers marching through gates of Great Wall, 1946. (Photo by George Lacks/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

American sailors on shore leave sit in a pedicab while their buddy takes their picture, Shanghai, China, December 1945. (Photo by George Lacks/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

American sailors on shore leave sit in a pedicab while their buddy takes their picture, Shanghai, China, December 1945. (Photo by George Lacks/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

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