Morris Berman (c.1910-2002) started his newspaper career in 1928, as a reporter for the Wheeling News Register. After he joined the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph in 1937 as a reporter, he discovered a talent for photojournalism when the newspaper asked him to photograph a steel industry strike in Beaver Falls. That assignment was the beginning of a 40-year career.
Berman’s portfolio includes events of international importance as well as scenes of daily life. His 1957 photograph of New York Giants quarterback Y. A. Tittle, bloodied and kneeling after being tackled by Steelers defensemen, is among the most famous in sporting history. While stationed in Italy and North Africa in World War II, Berman photographed the corpses of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress. Locally, Berman photographed post-war urban renewal efforts, sporting events and simple moments, such as a trolley driver helping his passengers from a broken trolley car.
Berman was a founder, in 1946, of the National Press Photographers Association. An award is now given in his name by the association to those individuals or organizations that have made notable contributions to the field of photojournalism.
Berman joined the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 1960, after the newspaper absorbed the Sun-Telegraph. “We called him Mo,” Post-Gazette photographer Robert J. Pavuchak told the paper after Berman died in June 2002. “He always wore a suit and tie and always had a big smile. He was always trying to get the best picture. Mo was extremely competitive.”