Burt Glinn • Photographer Profile • Magnum Photos

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"I think that what you've got to do is discover the essential truth of the situation, and have a point of view about it"

- Burt Glinn

b. 1925

d. 2008



Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Burt 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.

Glinn became an associate member of Magnum in 1951, along with Eve Arnold and Dennis Stock – the first Americans to join the young photo agency – and a full member in 1954. He made his mark with spectacular color series on the South Seas, Japan, Russia, Mexico and California. In 1959, he received the Mathew Brady Award for Magazine Photographer of the Year from the University of Missouri.

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.

Versatile and technically brilliant, Glinn is one of Magnum’s great corporate and advertising photographers. He has received numerous awards for his editorial and commercial photography, including the Best Book of Photographic Reporting from Abroad from the Overseas Press Club and the Best Print Ad of the Year from the Art Directors Club of New York. Glinn has served as president of the American Society of Media Photographers. He was president of Magnum between 1972 and 1975 and was re-elected to the post in 1987.

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Selected works


Inside the Chicago Playboy Mansion

Burt Glinn

Playboy’s archivist on the history captured by Burt Glinn’s 1966 visit to the Chicago Playboy Mansion

Open story

From the Magnum Shop

Most Recent

Theme | 18 Stories



The Day Havana Fell

Burt Glinn

Theme | 10 Stories



In Pictures: Tracing the Activism of Stokely Carmichael

Magnum Photographers

Past Exhibition
Munich, Germany

“Magnum Manifesto” in Munich

Magnum Photographers
Until Jan 27

Past Exhibition
New York, United States

Burt Glinn: Photographs of the New York Beat Scene

Burt Glinn
Until Oct 12, 2018

Past Exhibition
San Francisco,

The Beat Scene: Photographs by Burt Glinn

Burt Glinn
Until Nov 19, 2018

Arts & Culture

The Beat Scene: Burt Glinn’s Vivid Portrait of a Subculture

Burt Glinn

Past Exhibition
Schirmeck, France

1968: Année Brûlante

Magnum Photographers
Until Aug 30, 2018

Past Exhibition
Vannes, France

Magnum on Stage at Vannes Photo Festival

Magnum Photographers
Until May 13, 2018

Past Exhibition
Liège, Belgium

Group Exhibition: Danses en Indonésie

Magnum Photographers
Until Jan 14, 2018


On This Day in History: The Little Rock Nine Start School

Burt Glinn