Frank Bender

Artist, Organization founder

1941 – 2011


Who was Frank Bender?

Francis Augustus "Frank" Bender was a autodidact forensic artist and fine artist. He made facial reconstructions of the dead based on their skeletons, and of fugitives based on out of date photographs, with his reconstructions showing how they might look in the present day. This facilitated their capture despite the changes of age and their own disguises. He primarily worked in clay and then cast his pieces into plaster and painted them, but he also created age-progression drawings of fugitives using pastels. His most famous facial reconstruction case was that of John Emil List, whose case was shown on America's Most Wanted. Bender's work led to List's capture.

Bender's forensic work grew out of his training as an artist, and was a blend of art and science. He originally began the work when, impoverished, he worked out a deal with the Philadelphia coroner to be allowed to study some of their unknown dead bodies in an effort to improve his sculpting skills. He also created life-sized monuments in bronze for the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York, a monument for slain police officers in New Jersey, and a Holocaust obelisk.

We need you!

Help us build the largest biographies collection on the web!

Jun 16, 1941
  • United States of America
  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Jul 28, 2011
Southwest Center City

on July 23, 2013


Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:


"Frank Bender." STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 29 Jun 2022. <>.

Discuss this Frank Bender biography with the community: