Portrait of Lisa Larsen. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Portrait of Lisa Larsen. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

A recipient of many awards, including Magazine Photographer of the Year, which she received just one year before she died of cancer, Lisa Larsen (c. 1925-1959) used her Leica to render sympathetic portraits notable for their warmth. She survived a rigorous trip to the Himalayas and was the first American photographer to enter Outer Mongolia after a government-enforced 10-year ban. Beyond these far-flung assignments, the German-born Larsen was known as the “glamour girl” of press photography for her way of endearing herself to people, particularly those in the news. The otherwise gruff Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev gifted her with a bouquet of peonies, and North Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh said, “If I were a young man, I’d be in love with you.”

Adapted from The Great LIFE Photographers

Girls of the Children's School of Modern Dancing, rehearsing on the beach. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Girls of the Children’s School of Modern Dancing, rehearsing on the beach. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Soviet athletes Boris Tokarev (L) and Vladimir Suharev (R) practicing for the Russian Olympics. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Soviet athletes Boris Tokarev (L) and Vladimir Suharev (R) practicing for the Russian Olympics. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Eleanor Roosevelt talking to another UN delegate near a mural by artist Fernand Leger, 1952. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection via © Meredith Corporation)

Eleanor Roosevelt talking to another UN delegate near a mural by artist Fernand Leger, 1952. (Photo by Lisa Larsen/The LIFE Picture Collection via Shutterstock© Meredith Corporation)

More Like This

Artist Georgia O'Keeffe, 80 yr. old pioneer of modern American Art.(Photo by Michael Mauney/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

John Loengard

Propeller turbulence photographed in stroboscopic light as water passes the torpedo. (Photo by Al Fenn/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Al Fenn

Actor Charlton Heston as Moses with his arms flung wide while appearing in the motion picture, "The Ten Commandments", as it is shown at drive-in movie theater. (Photo by J.R. Eyerman/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

J.R. Eyerman

Students Steve Poster and Jessalyn Gray (fore C) talking at side of taxi while crowd of White Supremacists taunt them. (Photo by Joe Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Joe Scherschel

American soldiers of 7th Marines landing on the beaches of Cape Batangan during the Vietnam War. (Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Paul Schutzer

Representatives of 14 NATO nations (including US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles (fore, far R) signing a pact admitting Germany as 15th member in a ceremony at Palais de Chaillot. (Photo by Frank Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Frank Scherschel