Avedon, Richard

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Avedon, Richard Gender: M
born on 15 May 1923
Place New York, New York, 40n43, 74w0
Timezone EDT h4w (is daylight saving time)
Data source
Date w/o time
Rodden Rating X
Collector: Taglilatelo
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_taucol.18.gif 23°47' s_mo.18.gif s_taucol.18.gif

Richard Avedon
photo: blaze6t9, license cc-by-2.0


American photographer who is best known for his commercial work in fashion photography as well as his portraits giving the viewer an immediate emotional impact. Whether his portraits were of ordinary people or politicians or celebrities, each shot captured the subject's essence.

A celebrity himself for his brilliance in photography, he was the person on whom Fred Astaire's character was based in the 1957 film "Funny Face." Avedon was only 34 at the time. In 1978, Avedon was on the cover of Newsweek magazine while the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibited a retrospective exhibition of his work.

Avedon was thin and wiry and usually sported unkempt hair. He promoted civil rights in his work and trained young black photographers to record marches and demonstrations in the South during the '60s. In 1992 he joined the staff of The New Yorker, the magazine's first staff photographer.

Avedon was smitten by the world of fashion from the time he was a young boy. His father, a second-generation Russian-Jewish immigrant, owned a clothing store in Manhattan and his mother's family was in the dress manufacturing business. After a year at Columbia University he joined the Merchant Marine which assigned him to the photo section. There, taking identification pictures of sailors, he learned his craft. When he left the Merchant Marine in 1944, he enrolled in a design class and met Alexey Brodovitch, his mentor, who introduced Avedon to Harper's Bazaar and to the world of fashion photography. In 1945, Avedon's photographs began appearing in Junior Bazaar and later in Bazaar.

Avedon was married twice, first to Dorcas Norwell, a former model whom he later divorced. He and his second wife Evelyn, from whom he was also divorced, had a son John.

He is noted for saying "There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth."

He died at a hospital in San Antonio on September 30, 2004 of a brain hemorrhage suffered while he was working on a photo shoot. He was 81 and he was working on an election-year photo essay on democracy for The New Yorker magazine.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Social : Joined group 1944 (Merchant Marine)
  • Social : Left group 1945 (Merchant Marine)

Source Notes

PT quotes his obituary in the New York Times


  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Stroke (fatal stroke)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Divorces (Two)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (One)
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (81)
  • Vocation : Art : Photography
  • Vocation : Military : Military service
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession