“The Falling Man” is a story about a photograph taken by Richard Drew at 9:41:15 a.m., on September 11, 2001. The story was written by Tom Junod and appeared in the September 2003 issue of Esquire magazine, about the World Trade Center during the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City.
The subject of the image, whose identity at present remains unknown although attempts have been made at identifying him, was one of the people (dubbed “jumpers” by the press) trapped on the upper floors of the skyscraper who apparently chose to jump rather than die from the fire and smoke. According to the documentary by the same title and the article in Esquire, this picture is somewhat deceptive; it gives the impression the man is falling straight down. In reality, this is just one of a dozen photographs of his fall. In the other photos, it is evident that he is tumbling through the air out of control.
The photographer has noted that, in at least two cases, newspaper stories commenting on this particular image have attracted a barrage of criticism from readership, who find the image deeply disturbing