Description

Leonard Freed was born into a humble Jewish family of East European extraction in Brooklyn. He originally wanted to become an artist and attended the New School, where he studied with the legendary art director of Harper’s Bazaar, Alexey Brodovitch. It was in Brodovitch’s “design laboratory” that Freed discovered his true vocation. Here, an office party in New York City in 1966.

Ultimately, photography is about who you are. It's the seeking of truth in relation to yourself. And seeking truth becomes a habit

Leonard Freed
© Leonard Freed | Magnum Photos

Leonard Freed was born in Brooklyn, New York, to working-class Jewish parents of Eastern European descent. He initially wished to become a painter, but began taking photographs while in the Netherlands in 1953 and discovered that this was where his passion lay.

Working as a freelance photographer from 1961 onwards, Freed began to travel widely, photographing the black experience in America (1964-65), events in Israel (1967-68), the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and the New York City police department (1972-79). He also shot four films for Japanese, Dutch and Belgian television.

Freed joined Magnum in 1972. Photography became Freed’s means of exploring societal violence and racial discrimination.

Leonard Freed died in 2006.

© Leonard Freed | Magnum Photos

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