Helmut Newton, born Helmut Neustädter (31 October 1920, Berlin, Germany 23 January 2004, West Hollywood, California, USA) was a German-Australian fashion photographer noted for his nude studies of women.
Born Schoneberg, Berlin, to a German-Jewish button-factory owner and an American mother, Newton attended the Heinrich-von-Treitschke-Realgymnasium and the American School in Berlin. Interested in photography from the age of twelve when he purchased his first camera, he worked for the German photographer Yva (Else Neulander Simon) from 1936. The increasingly oppressive restrictions placed on Jews by the Nuremberg laws meant that his father lost control of the factory in which he manufactured buttons and buckles; he was even briefly interned in a concentration camp. ‘Kristallnacht’ on 9 November 1938 compelled the family to leave Germany. Newton’s parents fled to Chile. He was issued with a passport just after turning 18, and left Germany on 5 December 1938. At Trieste he boarded the ‘Conte Rosso’ (along with about two hundred others escaping the Nazis) intending to journey to China. After arriving in Singapore he decided to remain as a reporter for the Straits Times and worked as a portrait photographer. He died at the age of 83 on 23 January 2004 in Los Angeles (car accident)
ASX CHANNEL: Helmut Newton