Gruen was born in New York City. He began photographing rock stars with Bob Dylan and served as John Lennon's personal photographer during his time in New York City. Gruen is best known for his photograph of Lennon wearing a New York City T-shirt. Other notable celebrities and rock bands photographed by Gruen include the New York Dolls, The Clash, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Patti Smith Group, Blondie, Led Zeppelin, The Who, David Bowie, Tina Turner, Elton John, Aerosmith, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Courtney Love and Green Day.
"Bob's magical photos and brilliantly telling captions together present a kaleidoscope of John Lennon's New York Period. It is beautiful, clear, and truthful. I know. I was there." —Yoko Ono (John Lennon: The New York Years by Bob Gruen)
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