Edward Sheriff Curtis (Edward Sheriff Curtis)

Edward Sheriff Curtis

American Author, Photographer. Edward Curtis became fascinated with the various North American Indian groups and photography after his family had relocated in the upper mid-west in 1877. He built his first camera at age 12 and would photograph everything. In 1891 Edward moved to Seattle and bought a share in a photography studio with Rasmus Rothi and opens “Rothi and Curtis, Photographers.” He won the bronze medal at the National Photographers Convention in Chautauqua, New York in 1896. July 1900 saw Curtis in Montana with the Plains Indians. This experience solidifies Curtis’ will to begin to document the North American Indian in earnest. Curtis was invited by President Theodore Roosevelt to be the Whitehouse photographer in June 1904. It was from this point he dedicated his life to The North American Indian project. By 1928 publication of “The North American Indian” totaled 18 volumes and over 40,000 photographs. Cecil B. DeMille hired Curtis in 1936 as second unit cameraman and still photographer for his motion picture plains films. For the next 10 years he continues to work on many writing projects and despite his ever-growing health problems, begins work on a manuscript entitled “The Lure of Gold”. In 1948 Curtis started correspondence with the Seattle Public Library Association about his experiences in producing The North American Indian. The memoirs were never published, Edward Sheriff Curtis died of a heart attack at the age of 84, at the home of his daughter.  (bio by: John “J-Cat” Griffith)  Family links:  Parents:  Johnson Asahel Curtis (1840 – 1888)  Ellen Sherriff Curtis (1844 – 1912)  Spouse:  Clara J Phillips Curtis (1874 – 1932)*  Children:  Harold Phillips Curtis (1893 – 1988)*  Elizabeth M. Curtis Magnuson (1896 – 1973)*  Katherine Shirley Curtis Ingram (1909 – 1982)*  Siblings:  Raphael Curtis (1861 – 1944)*  Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868 – 1952)  Eva Curtis (1870 – 1968)*  Asahel Curtis (1874 – 1941)* *Calculated relationship


  • February, 16, 1868
  • USA


  • October, 10, 1952
  • USA


  • Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
  • California
  • USA

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