American, b. (Paris) 1928-
Born in Paris of Russian parents, Erwitt emigrated to the US with his family in 1939. He studied photography in Los Angeles City College (1942-1944) then film at the New School for Social Research ( 1948-1950). After serving as a photographic assistant in the United States Army Signal Corps in Germany and in France, Erwitt met Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker, former head of the fabled Farm Security Administration in 1950 and worked under him for Standard Oil Company.
From 1950 to 1952, Erwitt was a freelance photographer for Collier's, Look, Life and Holiday. He became a Magnum associate in 1953 and a full member in 1954.
Erwitt has shot journalistic essays throughout the world and numerous commercial assignments for Air France, KLM, Chase Manhattan Bank, among many others.
Since the 1970s, he has turned much of his energy toward movies. His feature films, television commercials and documentaries include "Beauty Knows No Pain" (1971), "Red, White and Bluegrass" (1973) and the prize-winning "Glassmakers of Herat, Afghanistan" (1977).
Following the publication of his book "Son of Bitch," he became famous as a maker of funny pictures where dogs play the starring role, and his work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide.