Allan Grant (1919-2008) was born in New York City. He turned to photography as a teenager after trading a model airplane to another kid for a camera. His early work was in a laboratory, where he printed the images of noted photographers, including Robert Capa and Alfred Eisenstaedt.
Grant's first Life Magazine assignment was as a freelancer in 1945 and involved a sotry about a Connecticut sailing school for kids. His photo made the cover and, 18 months later, he was hired and stayed at the magazine for fourteen years. Grant had extraordinary access to the glamorous worlds of fashion and Hollywood, as well as history-making events. Grant got the last photo shoot with Marilyn Monroe weeks before her death and the first picutres of Marina Oswald just hours after the assasination of President John F. Kennedy. He photographed atom bomb tests in the Nevada desert in the early 1950s, as well as Howard Hughes' memorable 1947 flight in the H-4 airplane that became known as the "Spruce Goose." he also shot the Academy Awards, photographing Andrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly poised backstage for the best actress announcement at the 1955 ceremonies.