As in all these cases. There are facts. Pure, empirical facts.
Born 1895, polio at 7, died 1965 of cancer.
However, some of her photographs are the most profound and powerful images ever created. almost everyone in the West - whether they realise it or not, have seen her images.
Active as a society portrait photographer, the tangent of her career changed when she ventured onto the street in 1933, to photograph the depressive era breadlines. She followed this up with images of migrant workers, Negros and Japanese internees, amongst others, during a period stretching from 1933 - 1945.
Receiving the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1941, she became the first woman photographer to receive a photography grant.
From a purely personal point of view her image (Below) may the single single most emotive image ever.
Dorothea's images often featured strong, but desperate women, as well as what can only be described as "broken" men during that period.
Her work also included some of the atrocities associated with the Japanese internments of the early WW2 period, and the responses of these people.
For me, one of her most powerful images is the photo of the forlorn daughter, almost imprisoned by the barbed wire on her mother's farm. As her (protective) mother watches from an out of focus background, the look of desperation on the child's face is testament to a generation destroyed in that period.
In all, Dorothea tapped into a dramatic and distressing time in American history. The images produced in that (Approx 10 year) period stand as a testament to the struggles, defeats and minor victories of an entire generation (Be they white, black, Japanese, male or female.
She certainly championed the "strong" woman stereotype, and also the downtrodden peoples of the time.
As she said:
“You know there are moments such as these when time stands still...”
― Dorothea Lange
Well. Here goes. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.