Harrison Forman

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Harrison Forman
BornJune 15, 1904
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
DiedJanuary 31, 1978(1978-01-31) (aged 73)

Harrison Forman (1904-1978)[1] was an American photographer and journalist. He wrote for The New York Times and National Geographic. During World War II he reported from China and interviewed Mao Zedong.

He graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Oriental Philosophy. Forman and his wife Sandra had a son, John, who later changed the spelling of his name to Foreman, and a daughter, Brenda-Lu Forman, who collaborated with her father on one of his books, and also wrote a series of children's books on given names.[2][3]

His collection of diaries and fifty thousand photographs are now at American Geographical Society Library at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.[4][5][6]

Forman who travelled to the Tibetan Plateau in 1932 and filmed the Panchen Lama at the Labrang Monastery[7] in Xiahe, Gansu province, served as the Tibetan technical expert on Frank Capra's Lost Horizon film of 1937.[8]


Soldiers of the Chinese Red Army (红军), not the Nationalist army, 1937; taken by Harrison Forman in Shaanxi province (note the red star on their caps)
  • 1931: Do You Want to Fly?. Shanghai: The Comacrib Press
  • 1935: Through Forbidden Tibet. New York: Longmans & Co.; London: Longmans, Green
  • 1942: Horizon Hunter: the adventures of a modern Marco Polo. London: Robert Hale
  • 1945: Report from Red China. New York: Holt
  • 1948: Changing China. New York: Crown Publishers
  • 1952: How to make Money with your Camera. New York: McGraw-Hill
  • 1964: The Land and People of Nigeria. Philadelphia: Lippincott (with Brenda-Lu Forman)


  1. ^ "Forman, Harrison, 1904-1978. NWDA ( 1904 - 1978)". virginia.edu. Archived from the original on 2015-04-09.
  2. ^ Hong Kong (China), Harrison and Sandra Forman's daughter Brenda Lu; University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee digital collections; accessed 2016-09-01
  3. ^ Forman, Brenda-Lu Is Your name John?. New York: A. Frommer, 1964
  4. ^ "Travel Diaries and Scrapbooks of Harrison Forman 1932 - 1973". uwm.edu.
  5. ^ "Guide to the Harrison Forman Papers 1931-1974". orbiscascade.org.
  6. ^ Harrison Forman Collection The Harrison Forman Photo Collection contains over 3,800 prints and over 300 negatives... sized at 98,000 images
  7. ^ http://collections.lib.uwm.edu/cdm/ref/collection/tibet/id/1266
  8. ^ https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0286345/?ref_=nv_sr_1