This Photographer Defied Death on the Chrysler Building 80 Years Ago

February 21, 2014 | Andy Cush

After we posted this photo of British urban explorer sitting on the edge of the Chrysler building this week, a commenter gave some advice: “Look at Margaret Bourke-White doing the same thing 80 years ago.” They’re right. That’s Bourke-White, a truly badass photographer, perched on the edge with her camera in a photo from 1934 above.

Bourke-White is a legendary photojournalist: aside from the Chrysler building stunt, she was the U.S.’s first female war correspondent, covering World War II and the Korean War, and was the first female photographer to work on Life (her photograph of the Fort Peck Dam appears on the cover of the magazine’s first issue).