Michael Brennan was born in Sheffield in the north of England in August 1943. He began his career as a messenger boy, so often the route into newspapers for many aspiring photographers.
The family travelled south to the London suburb of Croydon where he joined the Croydon Times.
Brennan learned what he calls the ‘then well-respected trade of newspaper photography’ after taking a job with South London’s Croydon Times. One of Brennan’s neighbours was George Phillips (see the work of George Phillips on Fleet Streets Finest) a photographer who influenced Michael and who gave him tips on photography.
After six years at The Croydon Times, he moved back to the north and worked as a photographer for The Sunday People and the Daily Herald and later the newly formed Sun newspaper.
Brennan then took his talents to the Daily Mail newspaper who assigned him to New York where he lived for the next thirty years.
Brennan time was spent taking photos of American notables, and he also accepted photo assignments for magazine such as Sports Illustrated where an assignment led to a series of photos of the boxer Muhammad Ali, one of the pictures taken in 1977 has been called ‘iconic’ and is in the collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.