Riis, Jacob

Riis, Jacob (August)

(1849–1914) photographer, social reformer; born in Ribe, Denmark. Son of a journalist, he emigrated to New York City in 1870, where he worked as a laborer before joining the New York Tribune in 1873. As the Evening Sun Crime reporter in 1888, he took stunning pictures of night life in the slums using a magnesium flash. Riis's How the Other Half Lives (1890) moved Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt to help the tenement reform movement.