A photojournalism pioneer has died.

Carl Mydans (search), part of the first staff of photographers hired at Life Magazine, died yesterday at his home in Larchmont, N.Y. He was 97.

Mydans first worked as a photographer for the Farm Security Administration, capturing images of the gaunt faces of dust-bowl farmers in Arkansas in the 1930s. He joined the fledgling Life magazine in 1936.

During World War II, Mydans and his wife — journalist Shelley Smith Mydans (search) — were imprisoned by the Japanese for nearly two years before they were repatriated during a 1943 prisoner exchange.

He went on to photograph General Douglas MacArthur's (search) return to the Philippines in 1944, and the Japanese surrender that concluded the war a year later.