Karsh Signature

Yousuf Karsh, master photographer of the 20th century

“A Singular Friendship”

Winston Churchill and William Lyon Mackenzie King, 1941

Last week our colleagues at Library and Archives Canada held an online discussion titled “A Singular Friendship: Yousuf Karsh and William Lyon Mackenzie King,” about the relationship between Karsh and the man who was the prime minister of Canada from 1935 to 1948. King arranged Karsh’s meeting with Winston Churchill on December 30, 1941, during which Karsh would create what came to be known as The Roaring Lion portrait, with Churchill staring down the lens after Karsh pinched the cigar out of Churchill’s mouth. The discussion reminded me of the photographs that Karsh took right after: a smiling Churchill, and also King lighting Churchill’s fresh cigar as is pictured here.

Watch Karsh recreating the Churchill portrait, with Morley Safer standing in as Churchill.