Yousuf Karsh was a Canadian photographer born in Armenia who came to Canada at the age of 16 to live with an uncle in Sherbrooke, Quebec who was a professional photographer. His uncle saw great potential in Yousuf, even at such a young age, and helped him set up an apprenticeship with John Garo in Boston Massachusetts. Yousuf spent the next four years working under Garo learning all he could about portrait photography before returning to Canada and setting up shop in Ottawa, Ontario.
Quickly after setting himself up in the Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa, Ontario Yousuf Karsh's work attracted the attention of politicians and celebrities alike and he was quickly on the road to becoming one of the most famous portrait photographers of all time. Karsh had the chance to do portraits for people such as Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King, Muhammad Ali, Humphrey Bogart, Robert Frost, Ernest Hemingway, Clark Gable, Audrey Hepburn, John F Kennedy and many other recognizable celebrities.
On December 30, 1941 Karsh solidified his place in photographic history when he photographed Winston Chruchill shortly after addressing the House of Commons in Ottawa, Canada. This photograph is said to be one of the most reproduced portraits in history and quickly gained him international recognition. Karsh traveled the world taking portraits of some very famous people until 1990 when he moved to Boston, Massachusetts. In July of 2002 Karsh died, at the tender age of 93, at a Boston hospital due to complications from a surgery he was having. In 2005, the city of Ottawa established the Karsh Prize, honoring Yousuf and his brother Malak Karsh who was an excellent photographer in his own right.