Weegee (Arthur H. Fellig) American, b. Austria-Hungary, 1899-1968 Born Usher Fellig (Usher was changed to Arthur by an immigration officer at Ellis Island) in Zloczew, Austria (now Poland), Weegee was a New York City press photographer famous during the 1930s-40s for his dramatic nighttime shots of murders, fires, and accidents. His family immigrated to the United States in 1910, and Weegee grew up in the tenements on Manhattan's Lower East Side. After a variety of jobs, he found employment with Acme Newspictures (1924-35, later United Press International Photos), where he worked first in the darkroom and then covering night assignments when the regular photographers were off duty. Weegee left Acme in 1935, establishing himself as a freelance news photographer. During these years he was given his nickname, a reference to the then popular Ouija board and his uncanny ability to discover news stories first. Using a Speed Graphic 4 x 5-inch camera with Graflex-synchronized flash, he worked mainly at night, listening to a radio that picked up police calls in order to arrive first at the scene of a disaster. He sold his pictures to the newspapers and the wire services, and in 1940 also became staff photographer for PM's Weekly. In addition to covering crimes and accidents, Weegee photographed nightclubs in Harlem, Sammy's bar in the Bowery, the Metropolitan Opera, Coney Island, and other genre scenes of New York. In 1943 his photographs were included in Action Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the following year his work was featured in a solo exhibition at the Photo League (Weegee: Murder Is My Business). His popular book, Naked City, appeared in 1945, inspiring the film Weegee's New York two years later. Weegee was hired as a special consultant for the movie and following its completion in 1948 moved to Hollywood, where he worked as an actor and special effects advisor for films. During the 1950s-60s he was active as a freelance photographer in Hollywood and New York as well as Europe; he also worked with trick photography, producing caricatures of celebrities and well-known political figures. Since his 1968 death in New York City, his work has been the subject of one-person exhibitions at the International Center of Photography, New York (1977), and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1984). M.M.