Brief Facts About Legendary French-American Photographer Elliott Erwitt

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New York City, USA 1999© Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS/ Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS

The world of photography has evolved very much from just taking a family portrait with a pinhole camera to becoming a diverse space of categories covering modelling, nature, water, and wildlife.

One of the individuals who has proven himself beyond doubt in this creative world is a French-American photographer, Elliot Erwitt. His life as a photographer spanned over six decades with marvelous works of photography such as a picture of France’s Eiffel Tower during its centenary celebration in 1989.

He was born in Paris to Russian-Jewish parents in 1928 as Elio Romano Ervitz. He, however, spent the larger part of his childhood in Milan, Italy, and later emigrated to the US in 1939 with his family.

At age 25 in 1953,  Elliot joined Magnum Photos to become one of the most celebrated photographers the world can boast of. He also worked as a freelance photographer for Collier’s, Look, LIFE, and Holiday, among others. He was also the president of Magnum in the 1960s.

He, unfortunately, was reported dead on November 29, 2023, in his New York home. Magnum Photos in a statement to announce his death shared that he died “peacefully at home surrounded by family”.

He is hugely remembered for his incredible captures of American actress and model, Marilyn Monroe, the finger-pointing Nixon-Khrushchev Kitchen Debate in Moscow, and animals.  He is also said to have photographed more American presidents than any photographer has.

During a phone interview with PetaPixel in 2022, Elliot divulged that he enjoyed taking pictures of dogs “because they don’t ask for photos”.

Magnum further describes him as “a tireless generator of icons. The combination of his casual and humoristic approach to the act of photographing, and his obsessive dedication, made him a unique artist that we have lost today with great sadness.”

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