Most of the famous black and white photographers that we know today are from the days before the advent of color photography. Many of the masters of photography in this list came to the forefront when the only available film was black and white. In those days, when the field of photography was a relatively new and expensive hobby, those who experimented the most with their cameras are the ones whose works became collectable.
However, that is not to say that there are no photographers these days who specialize in black white. Black & white photography was only overtaken by color photography when Kodak introduced the first modern color film (Kodachrome) in 1935. Although photographers have their choice these days, many professionals still prefer to use black and white film, often processing the film themselves in order to achieve their desired outcome.
Most Famous Black and White Photographers List
Bernd and Hilla Becher
Alvin Langdon Coburn
Edward S. Curtis
This list of the most famous black and white photographers is by no means exhaustive, and new ones will be added from time to time.