Leonard McCombe used a camera as if it were a paintbrush. By 16, he was professionally photographing compelling stories. Born in England, McCombe was able to create provocative images naturally. His abilities led him to become a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society at age 21. Through World War II, his images told of the struggles and triumphs of the day. By 1948, McCombe’s role in the US was solidified as a photographer for LIFE. Career Girl, where McCombe featured the daily life of 23 year old Gwyned Filling from Missouri, became a go to feature on the captivating nature of photography. The following year, the rugged cowboy took hold when McCombe photographed Clarence Hailey Long on the JA Ranch, Texas. McCombe’s image inspired Leo Burnett to propose and ultimately create advertising history with the Marlboro Man advertising campaign.