Here's a large selection of photography books, with sections for types of photography and then scroll down for individual prominent photographers. If you don't know much about photographers, I have some favorites to suggest!
Ansel Adams: the well-known B&W landscape photograper and naturalist
Diane Arbus: hard to summarize in a brief blurb - read her biography and see her photos!
Felice Beato: among other things, photographed Japan in the 1860s
Cecil Beaton: photographed celebrities and British high-society, including the royal family, from the 1920s to the 1960s
Karl Blossfeldt: not
primarily a photographer, but he made some terrific graphical images of plants, focussing on
patterns and design, to use in his classroom
Margaret Bourke-White: an early Life magazine photographer, with a great eye for composition
Brassaï: known for his photographs of Paris between the wars
Edward S. Curtis:
documented native American culture from the late 1800s into the 1900s
Elliott Erwitt: what I like are his whimsical shots, often
including children or dogs
William Mortensen: photographed Hollywood celebs
from the 1920s to the 1940s in the pictorialist style