Harry Benson

Photographer, Visual Artist

1929 –

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Who is Harry Benson?

Harry James Benson, CBE is a Scottish photographer whose pictures have appeared in publications including Life, Vanity Fair, People and The New Yorker.

Benson was assigned to travel with The Beatles on their inaugural American tour in 1964. One of his most recognizable images shows the band in a gleeful pillow fight in a hotel room.

Other celebrities Benson has photographed include Bobby Fischer, Michael Jackson, who allowed him access to his bedroom, and Elizabeth Taylor, whom Benson photographed before and after her brain surgery. He has also photographed political figures, including every US president since Dwight D. Eisenhower, and covered war zones.

Benson has been the subject of many exhibitions, including one organized by the Scottish National Portrait Galley at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, taken over a hundred cover shots for People, published several books and won awards. He was the subject of a documentary directed by Ken MacGregor and written by William McIlvanney. Most recently he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Scottish Press Photography Awards in April 2006.

Benson was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of The Royal Photographic Society in 2009. These are awarded to distinguished persons having, from their position or attainments, an intimate connection with the science or fine art of photography or the application thereof.

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Dec 2, 1929
Also known as
  • Harry James Benson
  • United Kingdom
Lived in
  • Glasgow

on July 23, 2013


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