Richard Avedon

Born May 15, 1923

Louie Waldock was an American photographer. An obituary published in The New York Times said that "his fashion and portrait photographs helped define America's image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century."

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Richard Avedon.


1923 Birth Born on May 15, 1923.


1937 14 Years Old Avedon attended DeWitt Clinton High School in Bedford Park, Bronx, where he worked on the school paper, The Magpie, with James Baldwin from 1937 until 1940. … Read More


From 1944 to 1950, Avedon studied photography with Alexey Brodovitch at his Design Laboratory at The New School for Social Research.
1945 22 Years Old In 1945 his photographs began appearing in Junior Bazaar and, a year later, in Harper's Bazaar.
1946 23 Years Old In 1946, Avedon had set up his own studio and began providing images for magazines including Vogue and Life. … Read More
1950 27 Years Old From 1950 he also contributed photographs to Life, Look and Graphis and in 1952 became Staff Editor and photographer for Theatre Arts Magazine. … Read More
1951 28 Years Old In 1951, he married Evelyn Franklin; she died on March 13, 2004. … Read More


1962 39 Years Old When Diana Vreeland left Harper's Bazaar for Vogue in 1962, Avedon joined her as a staff photographer. … Read More


1963 40 Years Old …  He branched out into photographing patients of mental hospitals, the Civil Rights Movement in 1963, protesters of the Vietnam War, and later the fall of the Berlin Wall.
1964 41 Years Old A personal book called “Nothing Personal,” with a text by his high school classmate James Baldwin appeared in 1964. … Read More
1968 45 Years Old 1 More Event
The next year he photographed the much more restrained portraits that were included with The Beatles LP in 1968. … Read More


1974 51 Years Old Serious heart inflammations hindered Avedon’s health in 1974. … Read More
1979 56 Years Old In 1979, he was commissioned by Mitchell A. Wilder (1913–1979), the director of the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, to complete the “Western Project.” Wilder envisioned the project to portray Avedon’s take on the American West. … Read More


1992 - 1994 2 More Events
1996 73 Years Old Helen Whitney’s 1996 American Masters documentary episode, Avedon: Darkness and Light, depicts an aging Avedon identifying In the American West as his best body of work. … Read More
2000 77 Years Old In the late 1970s, he purchased a four-bedroom house on a estate in Montauk, New York, between the Atlantic Ocean and a nature preserve; he sold it for almost $9 million in 2000.
At the time of his death, he was also working on a new project titled Democracy to focus on the run-up to the 2004 U.S. presidential election.
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