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Richard Avedon
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Photographer
    (May 15, 1923-October 1, 2004)
    Born in New York City, New York
    Fashion and portrait photographer
    Staff photographer for 'Harper's Bazaar' (1946-62), 'Vogue' (1962-88) and 'The New Yorker' (1998-2004)
    Published the photo collections 'Observations' (text by Truman Capote, 1959), 'Nothing Personal' (text by James Baldwin, 1964), 'Portraits' (1976) and 'In the American West' (1985)
    He was divorced twice, later saying 'I'm married to my work.'
    One fashion magazine editor said, 'He is self-centered to a fault. He loves his own work to the exclusion of all others.'
    By the early 80s, he claimed to have no interest in fashion photography except for a paycheck, declaring 'The whole thing is silly.'
    He directed those ultra-pretentious 1980s commercials for Calvin Klein's Obsession.
    He was the inspiration for Dick Avery, the photographer portrayed by Fred Astaire in 'Funny Face' (1957), and created that film's most famous image, an intentionally overexposed close-up of Audrey Hepburn's face that left only her eyes, her eyebrows, and her mouth visible.
    During the 1960s, he taught young black photographers to record sit-ins and civil rights marches in the South.
    He was the first photographer with two major exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1978,2002).
    When he joined 'The New Yorker,' USA Today quipped that crediting him as 'staff photographer' was like calling Michelangelo a house painter.

Credit: C. Fishel


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