Born: December 23, 1908
Died: July 13, 2002
Place of Birth: Madin, Armenian Turkey
As a youth, Yousuf Karsh witnessed the Turkish government's genocide of Armenians.
Because of the turmoil in their homeland, Karsh's family fled to Syria when he was 14.
In 1924, Yousuf Karsh arrived in Sherbrooke, Quebec, to live and work with his photographer uncle.
His uncle saw Karsh's potential and arranged for Karsh to undertake a photography apprenticeship with John Garo of Boston.
Garo trained his apprentice in making effective use of lighting with portraits.
By 1932, he had moved to Ottawa and was making his presence known as a superior photographer.
He held his first one-man exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada in 1959.
With the help of then prime minister Mackenzie King, Yousuf Karsh was introduced to historical political figures.
Some of his portraits featured Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Grace Kelly, and John Kennedy.
Karsh also authored several books featuring his photographs as a personal memorial to his work.
In 1987, Yousuf Karsh sold his negatives, transparencies, and 50,000 original prints to the National Archives of Canada.
For detailed research and more information, check out the following:
National Gallery of Canada
Masters of Photography
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Last Updated: September 12, 2017
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