Sam Falk (January 19, 1901 in Vienna, Austria – May 19, 1991 in Sunrise, Florida, USA) was an early- and mid-twentieth-century American photojournalist who worked for The New York Times from 1925 to 1969, and wrote and photographed for other publications.
Born in 1901 in Vienna and emigrating early in life to America, Sam Falk was a self-taught photographer who at 16 years old sold his first photo, of lightning taken with a simple box camera, to the New York Morning World for $10. Two years later he left school to work for a commercial photographer, and for him covered the Shamrock IV–Resolute yacht race.
He joined the staff of The New York Times in 1925 and remained for more than 40 years. In the 1940s he pioneered the use of 35-mm photography at the Times finding the usual press camera cumbersome, like the Anniversary Speed Graphic with 5-inch Graflex Optar f4.7 telephoto that he used to record a stumbling steeplechase horse throwing its rider at the Far Hills Races, N.J. He had to purchase his own 35mm camera, such was the prejudice against them at the newspaper, though editor Lester Markel liked his ‘miniature’ format pictures and often gave him 35mm assignments. The smaller camera became accepted after the Herald Tribune announced that their photographers were switching to the compact camera. Falk also used a Rolleiflex medium-format camera.