His death Wednesday was announced by his photo assistant Roger Krueger.
Penn was known for images that revealed a taste for stark simplicity _ whether he was shooting celebrity portraits, fashion, still life or remote places of the world.
His career began in the 1940s as a fashion photographer for Vogue. He left the magazine in 1944 to join the military, but returned to Vogue in 1946, taking travel assignments in addition to his fashion work.
In the 1950s, Penn moved into portraiture. He photographed both famous and ordinary people.