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About Yousuf Karsh

The photographer is understood for his portraits of many prominent individuals throughout history. After running World War I, he agreed with his maternal uncle in Quebec. A born Arabic speaker, he evolved fluent in both English and French. His uncle was the one that would guide his art and business of photography. He extended his first studio in Ottawa in the year 1932. He notably only photographed people who were recognized and/or prominent figures in society. When questioned why over the years, he had bold answers such as regarding the world’s most amazing cross-section of individuals were the minority that really made the world go round versus the common bulk of citizens, and that he did it for his own immortality. Flourishing as such, at the information of his passing, the Los Angeles Times directed to him as one of the greatest portrait photographers of the 20th century. 

NameDecember 23, 1908
Date of BirthDecember 23, 1908,
Marital Status
Birth PlaceMardin, Turkey

Yousuf Karsh Before Fame

He was born when Armenia was occupied as a portion of the Ottoman Empire which imposed upon the Armenians a genocide during their reign in the First World War. He was a survivor of this internal terrorism and ran from a Syrian refugee camp in the year 1922, although most of the components of his family were killed in the violence. 

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About Family Life

His family had an impressive backstory for the time. His dad was unreadable, traveling merchant. His mother, however, was a very well-educated scholar and text, something of a novelty back then. He had two brothers, the more youthful of the two was also a photographer. He was matched twice. First to Solange Gauthier in the year 1939, whom he divorced in the year 1961. Next to Estrellita Nachbar ​in the year 1962 whom he was always with upon his death. He never fathered any children. 

Over 20 years of the history of Life magazine’s magazine history

Throughout his career, before he retired in the year 1993, over 20 of his paintings were the featured cover art for the well-known magazine Life magazine.


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