Joe Rosenthal, the man who took the famous picture of the troops raising the flag at Iwo Jima died on Sunday at the age of 90. Rosenthal was born in DC, but moved out to San Francisco to shoot pictures for the San Francisco News. He was working for the SF branch of the AP when he was sent out in 1944 to cover World War II.
The picture is actually of the second raising of the flag after the US took back Iwo Jima on Feb. 23, 1945 -- the troops decided the first flag was too small. Rosenthal missed the first flag raising, and had thought about not going to the second one at all but changed his mind at the last minute.
After the war, Rosenthal left the AP and moved over to shoot pictures for the Chronicle, where he stayed until he retired in 1981. His picture inspired posters, war bonds, was depicted on a stamp, and is the basis of the Marine Corps Memorial in DC (pictured above, with Rosenthal).