Elliott Erwitt was born in 1928 in Paris, spent his childhood in Milan, and in 1939 he emigrated with his family to the USA. In 1951, he was called up for military service in the Army Troops in the department of telephony, during which he acted as a photographer in Germany and France. Back in the US, in New York, Erwitt met Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker, the former head of the Farm Protection Administration. Stryker invited Erwitt to work at the Standard Oil Company, and then commissioned him with a large-scale Pittsburgh documentation project. In 1953, Erwitt joined Magnum photo agency, and also worked as a freelance photographer for Collier’s, Look, Life, Holiday, and other famous magazines.
In the late 1960s, Erwitt became president of Magnum for three years. Elliott Erwitt is known for his frank and often humorous black and white images, besides he owns portraits of such 20th-century iconic figures such as Marilyn Monroe, Che Guevara and Richard Nixon. During his successful career, the photographer published many photo books, the main theme of which often became dogs. “The work I do is terribly simple,” ─ Erwitt remarked in 1988, ─ “I’m watching, I’m trying to have fun, but first of all I need images that represent emotions. Little else interests me in photography. ”
Despite the occasional criticism, Erwitt remains one of the most popular and famous photographers in the world, his shots was included in many books and catalogs, as well as have been shown at exhibitions around the world. The photographer was awarded the Medal of the Centenary of the Royal Photographic Society and an honorary scholarship (HonFRPS) in 2002, in recognition of his contribution to the art of photography. In 2011, he received an award from the International Center for Photography for his professional achievements.