(L-R) LIFE photographer Paul Shutzer and LIFE associate editor Michael Mok on assignment. (Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

(L-R) LIFE photographer Paul Shutzer and LIFE associate editor Michael Mok on assignment. (Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

As a child he considered becoming a painter or a lawyer, following his father and brothers, but at 22, Paul Schutzer (1930-1967) yielded to his childhood love of photography. He entered the professional ranks as an errand boy and shipping clerk for the Freelance Photographers Guild, and managed to secure a few assignments. Schutzer was only 26 when he joined the LIFE staff. He had a knack for taking pictures of powerful people—Eisenhower, Nixon, Kennedy—and yet he said, “It’s the quiet things that happen around us every day that are the really important things. A good camera story need not be dramatic, but it must be entertaining and a personal adventure for the viewer.” That’s certainly so, but Schutzer never shied from dangerous subjects; in fact, one colleague said he had “almost too much courage.” Schutzer was killed on assignment for LIFE covering the first day of the Six-Day War when an Israeli half-track in which he was riding was struck by a 57mm shell.

Adapted from The Great LIFE Photographers

President John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline in box at his Inaugural Ball. (Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

President John F. Kennedy, after beginning his presidency with a speech that declared “the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans,” celebrated with his wife Jacqueline at his Inaugural Ball.

Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

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)

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)

Freedom Riders Julia Aaron & David Dennis sitting on board interstate bus as they are escorted by two Mississippi National Guardsmen holding bayonets, on way from Montgomery, Alabama to Jackson, Mississippi. (Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Freedom Riders Julia Aaron & David Dennis sitting on board interstate bus as they are escorted by two Mississippi National Guardsmen holding bayonets, on way from Montgomery, Alabama to Jackson, Mississippi. (Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

More Like This

Balinese farmer herding his flock of ducks through a field. (Photo by Co Rentmeester/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Co Rentmeester

Tarsiers,an animal native to Indonesia and Philippines, eating a lizard alive. (Photo by Sam Shere/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Sam Shere

Inside a cell at the notorious Breendonk Nazi prison camp, a former Flemish SS guard is imprisoned after overthrow of German forces. (Photo by George Rodger/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

George Rodger

Astronaut Malcolm S. Carpenter and his wife reading with their children. (Photo by Ralph Morse/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Ralph Morse

Giant sable antelopes roaming the Luanda game preserve. (Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Carlo Bavagnoli

Prisoners at San Quentin weightlifting in prison yard during recreation period. (Photo by Charles Steinheimer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Charles Steinheimer