Yousuf Karsh (December 23, 1908 – July 13, 2002) was an Armenian-Canadian photographer, and one of the most accomplished portrait photographers of the 20th century. Karsh was born in Mardin, a city in the eastern Ottoman Empire (present Turkey). He grew up during a time when he as a child witnessed the great famine of the period, costing the family the life of Yousuf’s sister. He immigrated to Canada in 1924 at the age of sixteen, where he lived with his uncle, a photographer in Sherbrooke, Quebec. He went to school there and worked for his uncle who in return trained him in photography. At his uncle’s recommendation, in 1928 he apprenticed in the Boston studio of photographer John Garo, who taught him to see his subject in terms of light, shadow, and form. In 1932 he settled in Ottawa where he opened his photography studio. He said: ” My chief joy is to photograph the great in heart, in mind, and in spirit, whether they be famous or humble”.
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