Photo of the Week No.21: Winston Churchill by Karsh, December 1941

This portrait photo of Winston Churchill, taken by Yousuf Karsh on 30th December 1941, captures the pugnacity, and the determination of the man.

Churchill was in Canada to give a speech to Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa to thank Canada for their help, as one of the allies, in fighting Hitler in World War 2.

Churchill, unaware that Karsh had been hired by the Canadian government to photograph him, was a reluctant and grumpy sitter, indicating that Karsh would have only minutes to complete the portrait. Churchill lit a cigar and and kept it between his lips. Karsh, not wanting the cigar in his photo, walked up to Churchill said ‘Forgive me, Sir’ and calmly removed it.

As Karsh walked back to him camera he clicked the camera remote, and one of the most famous images was taken.


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