Keith Morris

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Rock photographer Keith Morris immortalized some of the most iconic musicians of his generation, including Jimi Hendrix and T. Rex's Marc Bolan. Born in London on August 15, 1938, the young Morris was…
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Rock photographer Keith Morris immortalized some of the most iconic musicians of his generation, including Jimi Hendrix and T. Rex's Marc Bolan. Born in London on August 15, 1938, the young Morris was an exceptional athlete, and by 17 was ranked second in all of Britain in the 1,500-meter race; he nevertheless pursued a career in the arts, studying photography at Guildford Arts School and apprenticing under fashion photographer David Bailey. While a stint at the magazine Oz marked Morris' official induction into the London counterculture, he leaped to new levels of fame photographing rock royalty -- he shot several famous images of Bolan (his neighbor in Little Venice) in and around the time of the 1972 concert film Born to Boogie, most notably a shot of the singer behind the wheel of a Cadillac, eerily presaging Bolan's death in an auto accident. Along the way, Morris shot artists including Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, and Elvis Costello -- he was also the only professional photographer ever to capture the ill-fated singer/songwriter Nick Drake.

But as the years wore on, Morris found himself increasingly attracted to scuba diving, one of his favorite pastimes since the mid-'60s. Two decades later, he began formal training with the British Sub-Aqua Club, and quickly emerged as one of the nation's top divers. He went on to undertake some 30 missions into Corryvreckan, a violent whirlpool in the Scottish Hebrides, and in the early '90s began experimenting with different combinations of gases that promised dives deeper than the standard recreational limits. Although his 15-year-old son Lee drowned in 1991, Morris continued diving, even working as an instructor for the Technical Divers International agency. He also photographed shipwrecks, locating a pair of British ships, the Charybdis and the Limbourne, lost during World War II. But while diving off the coast of Guernsey on June 17, 2005, Morris went missing, and was presumed dead a week later. He was 66.