Born in Passaic, New Jersey, in 1945, Allan Tannenbaum has been photographing since the 1960s. He received a BA in Art from Rutgers University in 1967. After grad-school in San Francisco and a stint in the Merchant Marines, he went on to teach photography and filmmaking at the Livingston College branch of Rutgers University from 1970 until 1972.
Gravitating to the nascent art scene in the SoHo district of Manhattan, Tannenbaum worked as a taxi driver and bartender while looking for work as a photographer. When the SoHo Weekly News commenced publication in 1973, Tannenbaum became the Photo Editor and Chief Photographer.
While there he relentlessly covered the art world, music scene, politics, show business, and nightlife. This lasted until 1982 when the SoHo News folded. The high point of this period was photographing John Lennon and Yoko Ono for the paper -- the low point was the murder of John Lennon just 10 days later.
Tannenbaum then joined the renowned Sygma Photo News as a Staff Photographer and covered major world news and events. His work has appeared in many photo books and exhibitions, as well as appearing regularly in NEWSWEEK, TIME, LIFE, ROLLING STONE, PARIS MATCH, and STERN. His photographs have graced the covers of TIME three times, and NEWSWEEK five times.
His bookNew York in the '70s was critically acclaimed and sold out of its first printing in 2003. He has since exhibited his work all over the world and continues to live and work in NYC.