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An Interview With Richard Drew, Photographer of 'Falling Man'

We are approaching the 20th anniversary of September 11th. One of the most iconic images to emerge from that terrible day was Richard Drew's "Falling Man," which captured a man who had either jumped or fallen from the North Tower as the intense fires pushed those trapped in the upper floors to make a desperate decision. This interview speaks with Richard Drew, the photographer who captured the image.

In this interview with CBS Sunday Morning, Richard Drew discusses the experience of photographing September 11th, in particular, his well-known image, "Falling Man," which captures an unidentified man who either jumped or fell from the North Tower due to the fire in the upper floors at and above the impact zone. The man has never been identified, though he is believed to be either Norberto Hernandez, a pastry chef in the Windows on the World restaurant on the 106th floor, or Jonathan Briley, a sound engineer who also worked in the restaurant. Tragically, no one survived above the impact zone in the North Tower, as all stairwells were destroyed. The image, in its strange abstractness, has been seared into the memory of countless people and continues to be one of the most powerful ever taken. It is worth taking a few minutes to hear what Drew has to say about it. 

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4 Comments

Steve Powell's picture

Kind of like the photo, taken by Nick Ut, of the Vietnamese girl with Napalm burns.

Robert Nurse's picture

OMG! Identifying your loved one as one of the falling victims.

paul aparycki's picture

One of the most chilling images I remember from that event came from the film that was shot by a couple of Frenchmen . . . can't remember their names, but they were some of the first on site shooting. The shot was inside in the foyer, or main floor and there were emergency responders talking about ??, and you could hear the occasional "thump", "thump" from outside as some people took the express way down . . . the look on the chief emergency responders face as he realized what it was, was life draining.

Alex Cooke's picture

You're thinking of the Naudet brothers' documentary.