Edward Sheriff Curtis (February 16, 1868 – October 19, 1952) was a photographer of the American West and of Native American peoples.
Edward Curtis was born near Whitewater, Wisconsin. Curtis' father, the Reverend Johnson Asahel Curtis (1840–1887), was a minister and an American Civil War veteran. Rev. Curtis was born in Ohio. Rev. Curtis' father was born in Canada, and his mother in Vermont. Edward's mother, Ellen Sheriff (1844–1912), was born in Pennsylvania; and both her parents were born in England. Curtis' siblings were Raphael Curtis (1862-c1885), who also was called Ray Curtis; Eva Curtis (1870-?); and Asahel Curtis (1875–1941).,. Around 1874 the family moved from Wisconsin to Minnesota. Curtis dropped out of school in the sixth grade. He soon built his own camera. In 1880 the family lived in Cordova Township, Minnesota, where Johnson Curtis worked as a retail grocer. In 1885 at the age of seventeen Edward became an apprentice photographer in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1887 the family moved to Seattle, Washington, where Edward purchased a new camera and became a partner in an existing photographic studio with Rasmus Rothi. Edward paid $150 for his 50 percent share in the studio. After about six months, Curtis left Rothi and formed a new partnership with Thomas Guptill. The new studio was called Curtis and Guptill, Photographers and Photoengravers