Harry Benson


Harry Benson has spent the last five decades capturing iconic images of world leaders, celebrities and historic events.

Born in Scotland, Harry Benson was working on London’s famed Fleet Street as a photojournalist when he traveled to America with the Beatles in 1964. He decided to stay in the US and went on to work with many acclaimed newspapers and magazines.

In his career he has photographed every US President from Eisenhower to Barack Obama; was just feet away rom Bobby Kennedy the night he was assassinated; was in the room with Richard Nixon when he resigned; was on the Meredith March with Martin Luther King Jr.; was next to Coretta Scott King at her husband’s funeral; was on maneuvers with the IRA; was there when the Berlin Wall went up and when it came down; and covered the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

In 2003 Harry received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from The University of St. Andrews, Scotland. On January 1, 2009, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and received his honor at Buckingham Palace in March. In London in November 2009 he received an Honorary Fellowship in the Royal Photographic Society. Harry was honored with a Doctor of Letters from the Glasgow School of Art and Glasgow University in 2007. Twice named NPPA Magazine Photographer of the Year, Harry received the 2005 LUCIE Award for Lifetime Achievement in Portrait Photography; the 2005 AMERICAN PHOTO Magazine Award for Achievement in Photography; the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Scottish Press Photographers Association; and has twice received the Leica Medal of Excellence. He has had 40 solo gallery exhibitions and published 14 books of his photographs.

His photographs are in the permanent collection of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC, both museums hosted his Harry Benson: Being There exhibition (2006-7). A major retrospective exhibition of Harry’s photographs was held at Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow from June to September, 2008.

Harry was under contract to LIFE Magazine from 1970 to 2000. His photographs appeared in major magazines including Vanity Fair, Town & country, Architectural Digest, Time, Newsweek, Vice, Paris Match, and The London Sunday Times Magazine. Harry lives in Wellington, FL with his wife Gigi, who works with him on his book and exhibition projects. Their two daughters, Wendy and Tessa, live and work in Los Angeles.