Battlefield Photos Made Mathew Brady Famous–and Bankrupt

Mathew Brady was the most famous photographer of the Civil War.

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Failing health, his wife's death, and alcohol also took their toll on Brady. Still, historians wonder why Brady's talent and reputation couldn't save his business. Perhaps his technology was dated and his debts too great. Or perhaps, as a purveyor of fame for himself and his subjects, Brady was just an early victim of fleeting modern celebrity.