Karsh Signature

Yousuf Karsh, master photographer of the 20th century

Norman Mailer

Norman Mailer, 1974

Norman Mailer was born on this day, January 31, in 1923. Mailer was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, playwright, film-maker, actor, and political activist.

“I hope you can spend the evening,” was Norman Mailer’s greeting. “I’m planning to cook dinner for you.” That was our gracious introduction to the enfant terrible of American letters, the man whose self-advertised penchant for violent excess had caused more than one qualm as we planned this visit…

Our visit, far from stormy, proved a warm, intimate family occasion. I hope that my portrait has caught both the restlessness and the gentle concern of this creative American, innovative in his art yet so protective when we left that he drove miles ahead of us in his car to make sure we were on the right road.

Excerpt from Karsh Portraits.