October 3, 1929
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
June 26, 2013 (aged 83)|
New York City, New York, U.S.
Stern was the son of Jewish immigrants and grew up in Brooklyn. His father worked as a children’s portrait photographer. After dropping out of high school at the age of 16, he gained a job in the mail room at Look magazine. He became art director at Flair magazine, where Stern learned how to develop film and make contact sheets, and started taking his own pictures. In 1951, Stern was drafted into the United States Army and was sent to Japan and assigned to the photographic department.
In the 1960s, his heavy use of amphetamines led to the destruction of his marriage to Allegra Kent, who joined the New York City Ballet in 1953 at the age of 15, and was promoted to principal in 1957. Many roles in George Balanchine's ballets were created for her, including Seven Deadly Sins, Ivesiana and Bugaku. She danced the role of Dewdrop in the 1958 Playhouse 90 telecast of Balanchine's version of The Nutcracker.a ballerina. By the late 1970s, Stern returned to the U.S. to photograph portraits and fashion.