The Man In The Crowd Photo: A Mysterious Figure In History

The Background of the Photo

The man in the crowd photo, also known as the “Face in the Crowd,” is a photograph that has been shrouded in mystery since its creation. The photo was taken in 1930 by photographer Benjamin “Benny” Joseph, who was working for the New York City newspaper, The World-Telegram.

The photo captured a sea of faces in the crowd at the Madison Square Garden during a political rally for the then-governor of New York, Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the midst of the crowd, there is one face that stands out – a man with a fedora hat, a dark suit, and a serious expression.

The identity of the man in the crowd has never been officially confirmed, and several theories have emerged over the years about who he might be.

Theories About the Man in the Crowd

The Anonymous Businessman

One theory suggests that the man in the crowd was a wealthy businessman who attended the rally to show his support for Roosevelt. According to this theory, the man was unhappy with the way the country was being run at the time and was looking for a change.

However, there is no concrete evidence to support this theory, and it remains just speculation.

The Time Traveler

Another theory that has gained popularity in recent years is that the man in the crowd was a time traveler who accidentally ended up in 1930. This theory gained traction after a photo surfaced online that appeared to show the same man in the crowd at a much earlier event.

However, this theory has been debunked by several experts who have pointed out that the photo is likely a fake.

The Government Agent

Finally, some people believe that the man in the crowd was a government agent who was there to spy on the rally. This theory is supported by the fact that the man’s suit and hat are similar to those worn by FBI agents at the time.

However, there is no concrete evidence to support this theory either, and it remains just speculation.

The Significance of the Photo

Regardless of the man’s identity, the photo itself has become an iconic image in American history. The photo captures the mood of the country during the Great Depression and the growing support for Roosevelt’s New Deal policies.

The photo has also been used in several films, including Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy, where it serves as a symbol of the main character’s obsession with fame and celebrity.


The man in the crowd photo remains one of the most mysterious and iconic images in American history. While the identity of the man may never be confirmed, the photo itself serves as a powerful reminder of the struggles and triumphs of the American people during one of the most challenging periods in the country’s history.