You may not know Henry Grossman, but you know his pictures. Iconic shots of President John F. Kennedy, the Beatles and other famous faces that dot the American historical landscape. Some you haven't seen, or know their context or how their subjects felt about them. Grossman the photographer, the friend to the famous, talks about his photos -- including the picture he took of President Kennedy that was Jackie Kennedy's favorite - as he takes Morley Safer though his trove of images, many of which capture our culture's watershed moments. Safer's story about Grossman will be broadcast on 60 Minutes Sunday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. PT on the CBS Television Network.
One of Grossman's pictures of JFK was on the front page of the New York Times the day after Kennedy was assassinated 50 years ago this month. But he knew the young Kennedy when he was campaigning for the presidency. "We called him Jack all during the campaign and even when he went into the White House, except not when people were around," says Grossman. He photographed the young president in many settings, including an outdoor shot he says was the first lady's favorite picture of her husband. "I gave Jackie a copy of that picture because I loved it," he tells Safer. "And a friend of mine said [Jackie Kennedy] looked at it and she said 'I think that is my favorite picture of Jack.'"
The freelance photographer's assignments took him all over America and sometimes overseas to photograph everybody from the ordinary to celebrities to world leaders. When the Beatles were shaking up American society on the Ed Sullivan show -- also nearly 50 years ago -- Grossman was there capturing the effect on the faces of young girls and the faces of their beloved band. Then he really got to know them a few years later.
On assignment to shoot the Fab Four while they shot the film, "Help!" in the Bahamas, Grossman became friendly with them. He took intimate, candid pictures of the pop stars at ease. It was a fantasy come true for the four kids from Liverpool who were a world sensation, but could they be just another fad? "I was speaking with George in London at his house once. He said, 'Henry, who knows how long this is going to last.' And that was 50 years ago, before they became the icons of the century," Grossman tells Safer.