Karl Bissinger was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1914. After high school, he moved to New York and enrolled in the Art Students League where he studied painting with George Grosz, Yasuo Kunioshi, and Morris Kantor. During the Depression, Bissinger found work as a property stylist for the Conde Nast photographic studios where he met and befriended several of the staff photographers, including Irving Penn, Cecil Beaton, and Richard Avedon. Avedon, a rising star at Harper's Bazaar, encouraged Bissinger to pursue photography, which he did, taking photographs - primarily portraits but also the occasional fashion story - for Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Theatre Arts, Town & Country, and Flair magazines. Always drawn to radical politics and the pacifist movement, Bissinger eventually abandoned photography. In the 1960s, he worked for the American Friends Service Committee and then joined the War Resister's League where he continues to work to this day. He lives in New York.
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