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Milton Greene (American, 1922-1985)


Birth Place: New York City (New York state, United States)

Milton Greene was born in New York City in 1922. As one of the most celebrated photographers of the past century, Milton Greene began his artistic career at the early age of fourteen. He received a scholarship to Pratt Institute, but he decided to follow his passion for photography instead. Although he was the chosen photographer of Marilyn Monroe, developing repute for celebrity portraiture, Greene began his career in fashion photography. Greene quickly immersed himself in the art world, assisting various photojournalists and honing his knowledge and creative skillset. By the age of twenty-three, Greene was known as “Color Photography’s Wonder Boy.” Naturally, he met fellow photographers such as Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, and Irving Penn, all with whom Greene helped make fashion photography a part of the fine arts.

It was his amiable nature that influenced his mastery of celebrity portraiture, as he had a talent for directing his subjects in a way that evoked their specific qualities and characteristics, enabling him to perfectly capture their natural personas. Consequently, he developed close relationships with his subjects, most famous for which is his friendship with Marilyn Monroe. They instantly shared a connection and became close friends after meeting in 1953 on assignment for Look Magazine. Greene and Monroe formed their own company in 1956, the Marilyn Monroe Productions, with which they produced The Prince and the Showgirl and Bus Stop. Greene took innumerable photo sessions with her, one of his most famous being the Black Sitting, capturing Monroe unlike any other artist, showing her truly legendary spirt. They held such an endearing friendship that Monroe entrusted Greene with her biography, entitled My Story.

Greene’s artistic career as a most-loved photographer gained him several honors and awards for his work, including ones from the Art Director’s Club of New York and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Milton Greene passed away in 1985.

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