Shooting break “Decision before Dawn” by Robert Capa, Berlin 1950
Photo credit: © WestLicht Photographica Auction

Shooting break “Decision before Dawn” by Robert Capa, Berlin 1950

This photography hints on why the Magnum photographer Robert Capa is credited with coining the term Generation X (Gen X), the generation born after the Western Post-World War II baby boom. He used it as a title for a photo-essay about the young men and women reaching adulthood after the WWII.

Describing his intention, Capa said:

"We named this unknown generation, The Generation X, and even in our first enthusiasm we realized that we had something far bigger than our talents and pockets could cope with."

The term was used for various subcultures or countercultures after the 1950s

In a 2012 article for the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, George Masnick wrote that the "Census counted 82.1 million" Gen Xers in the U.S. The Harvard Center uses 1965 to 1984 to define Gen X so that Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y (Millennials, Millennial Generation) "cover equal 20-year age spans".