“The Falling Man” is a nickname given to a man who fell from the North Tower of the World Trade Center during the September 11 attacks in New York City, and is also the title of a photograph, magazine story and documentary film about the incident. The photo was taken by Richard Drew at 9:41:15 a.m. on September 11, 2001. The story, written by Tom Junod, appeared in the September 2003 issue of Esquire magazine, and was later made into a film.
The subject of the image — whose identity remains uncertain, although attempts have been made to identify him — was one of the people trapped on the upper floors of the skyscraper who apparently chose to jump rather than die from the fire and smoke. As many as 200 people jumped to their deaths that day; there was no time to recover or identify those who jumped prior to the collapse of the towers.
Officially, all deaths in the attacks except those of the hijackers were ruled to be homicides (as opposed to suicides), and the New York City medical examiner’s office stated that it does not classify the people who fell to their deaths on September 11 as “jumpers”: “A ‘jumper’ is somebody who goes to the office in the morning knowing that they will commit suicide… These people were forced out by the smoke and flames or blown out.”