The Man Who Inspired Steinbeck:
Horace Bristol - Born November 16, 1908 in Whittier California, Bristol began contributing to LIFE magazine as a freelancer in June 1937, and garnered his first cover just two months later. He was soon hired on staff, working alongside such photographic giants as Alfred Eisenstaedt, Peter Stackpole, and a personal hero, Margaret Bourke-White. Late in 1937, Bristol proposed a story about migrant farm workers in Calfornia’s Central Valley—a project that would include accompanying text by novelist John Steinbeck. Though LIFE turned down the story, Bristol and Steinbeck agreed to collaborate on a book-length project, and the two men spent several weekends in labor camps during the winter of 1938. Bristol took hundreds of photographs of the suffering farm workers, only to have Steinbeck withdraw from the partnership to write the story as a novel, which became his masterpiece The Grapes of Wrath.
text taken from Horace Bristol’s website.