Gottlieb's work will live on through the iconic photos he shot of the legends of jazz -- Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday, among so many others. Of all Gottlieb's great pictures, his circa February 1947 image of Holiday is his most famous. Here, he epitomized the great singer's soulfulness in a single frame.
"I hit it on the button," Gottlieb said of the photo, taken at a time, he said, when her voice "was at its peak" and she "was her most beautiful." Approximately 2,000 Gottlieb images are available in the American Memory presentation "The William P. Gottlieb Collection." In addition to viewing his extraordinary photos, you can hear Gottlieb talk about some of his favorites, including the Billie Holiday image. "In His Own Words" has 16 interviews about photographs of Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Doc Pomus and the "Velvet Fog," Mel Tormé, among others. An article called "Jazz Giants" makes fascinating reading about the Library's acquisition in 1995 of this important collection.