Born in New York, Rogovin was one of America’s most significant social documentary photographers. However, he initially trained as an optometrist at Columba University and in 1939 moved to Buffalo to establish his own optometric business. Rogovin was profoundly affected by the Great Depression and he subsequently became a political victim of the suspicious, anti-communist McCarthy regime in 1952. As a result, he turned to photography as a means of expressing his views. His photography was consciously humanist and focuses on the dispossessed; he said: “The rich have their own photographers…I photograph the forgotten ones”. He went on to study American Studies at the University of Buffalo; where he then taught documentary photography until 1974.