|Birth Day||December 23, 1908|
|Yousuf Karsh age||93 YEARS OLD|
|Died On||Jul 13, 2002 (age 93)|
Photographer known for his portraits of many prominent persons throughout history. After escaping World War I, he settled with his maternal uncle in Quebec. A native Arabic speaker, he became fluent in both English and French. His uncle was the one that would teach him art and trade of photography. He opened his first studio in Ottawa in 1932. He notably only photographed individuals who were famous and/or prominent figures in society. When asked why over the years, he had cheeky answers such as believing the world's most remarkable cross-section of people were the minority that actually made the world go round versus the common majority of citizens, and that he did it for his own immortality. Successful as such, at the announcement of his passing, the Los Angeles Times referred to him as one of the greatest portrait photographers of the 20th century.
He was born when Armenia was colonized as a part of the Ottoman Empire, which inflicted upon the Armenians a genocide during their reign in the First World War. He was a survivor of this internal terrorism and escaped from a Syrian refugee camp in 1922, although most of the members of his family were murdered in the violence. He was sent by his remaining family on a month's long journey in a caravan that would bring him to Nova Scotia, Canada by way of Beirut.
He held both Canadian and Armenian citizenship. He identified as an Armenian for his entire life, but he was also a proud citizen of Canada.
His family had an interesting backstory for the time. His father was an illiterate, traveling merchant. His mother, however, was a very well-educated scholar and reader, something of a novelty back then. He had two brothers, the younger of the two was also a photographer. He was married twice. First to Solange Gauthier in 1939, whom he divorced in 1961. Next to Estrellita Nachbar in 1962 whom he was still with upon his death. He never fathered any children.
Throughout his career, before he retired in 1993, over 20 of his portraits were the featured cover art for the prominent publication Life magazine. His cover subjects included Ernest Hemingway, John F. Kennedy, Winston Churchill, and Martin Luther King Jr..