Burt Glinn was an American professional photographer, who was born in 1925 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Glinn served in the United States Army between 1943 and 1946 before studying literature at Harvard University where he edited and photographed for the Harvard Crimson college newspaper. From 1949 to 1950, Glinn worked for Life magazine before becoming a freelancer, which allowed him to work for many publications, including Holiday, Esquire, Fortune, Travel & Leisure, Paris-Match, and Newsweek. He covered revolutionary leader Fidel Castro’s entrance into Havana, Cuba, and photographed people such as Andy Warhol and Helen Frankenthaler. Burt who has died aged 82, knew he was a legend in his own lifetime, but with characteristic modesty, put a portion of his success down to luck – “I have come to believe in the superiority of discovery over invention. What is important is not what I make happen but what happens to me”. –Burt Glinn
In collaboration with the writer Laurens van der Post, Glinn published A Portrait of All the Russias and A Portrait of Japan. His reportages have appeared in Esquire, Geo, Travel and Leisure, Fortune, Life and Paris-Match. He has covered the Sinai War, the US Marine invasion of Lebanon, and Fidel Castro’s takeover of Cuba. In the 1990s he completed an extensive photo essay on the topic of medical science.
In 1981, Burt married Elena Prohaska and their son Samuel Pierson Glinn was born in 1982.