Weegee was the pseudonym of Arthur Usher Fellig. born on the 12th of June 1899 in Zolochiv, Ukraine. He was a photographer and a photojournalist, who was known for stark black and white street photography. He worked as a press photographer in Manhattan during the 1930’s and 1940’s. Weegee, developed his style by documenting the city emergency services. Most of his work shows realistic scenes of urban life, crime, injury and death. He started working in cinema by making his own short films and later he collaborated with directors like Jack Donohue and Stanley Kubrick.
Fellig was born in Zolochiv in Ukraine. His given name was Usher Fellig but he changed it to Arthur Fellig when he moved to New York with his family, in 1909. During his time in New York, Weegee had many jobs like working as a street photographer of children on ponies and being an assistant to a commercial photographer. In 1924, Fellig was hired by Acme Newspictures (now United Press International Photos) as a darkroom technician. He left eleven years later to become a freelance photographer.
Weegee often worked at night and competed with the police so that he could be first at a crime scene. He then, took pictures and sold them to tabloids and photographic agencies. His photos were published by the Herald Tribune, World-Telegram, Daily news, New York Post, New York Journal American, Sun and many more.
Fellig developed diabetes in 1957 and moved in with Wilma Wilcox, (a social worker that he had known for a long time), who cared for him and his work. He worked on projects for the Daily Mirror and travelled a lot in Europe until 1968.
Weegee earned his nickname because he always turned up minutes after crimes and disasters were reported to the authorities. he also says that he got his nickname by a police officer or by a colleague at the Acme Newspictures.
Arthur Fellig died on the 26th of December 1968 in New York at the age of 69.
All the pictures in this page are by Arthur Usher Fellig. All rights reserved to the author.