2017 - Marilyn (Lynn) Abercrombie

Lynn Abercrombie (Class of 1948) traveled the world capturing rare images of exotic locations as an accomplished freelance photographer for the National Geographic magazine. Her career spanned more than three decades, with assignments to all of the seven continents.

As a female photographer in a male-dominated profession, she served as an example of success for aspiring women. She traveled with her husband, award-winning photographer Thomas Abercrombie, to many isolated and forbidding places which had never been seen by Americans. In a time before the Internet and globalization, Abercrombie gave the nebulous idea of “foreign” faces feelings and identities in the minds of National Geographic subscribers .

As a complement to Thomas, Lynn’s freelance contributions to the National Geographic provided a feminine side to the story. Women and children felt more at ease being photographed by Lynn, and she was allowed to visit places often off-limits to men.

Abercrombie also preserved and expanded her family’s legacy by editing and publishing the book, Travelling the World for National Geographic, which her husband wrote about their assignments. She graduated from Macalester College in 1952 with a degree in journalism.