According to LIFE lore, Michael Rougier (1925-2012) is the only unknown who walked into the office and was hired right then and there as a staff photographer. His feat had been to get pictures of a then-camera shy Eva Peron and smuggle the film out of Argentina. It turned out, however, that celebrities would seldom be his subject. As a war correspondent in Korea, he did not aim for action shots but instead focused on “the stresses and strains of a soldier’s mind.” He also showcased the plight of a Korean orphan in “The Little Boy Who Wouldn’t Smile,” a story that brought Rougier acclaim and the boy clothes, medicine and toys from readers. Once, while trailing a geological survey crew up a nameless Antarctic mountain, Rougier tumbled down its side and was badly hurt. The peak now bears the name Mount Rougier.
—Adapted from The Great LIFE Photographers