Lisl Steiner was born to a Jewish family on November 19, 1927. At the age of 11, in 1938 her family had to emigrate from Adolf Hitler’s regime, who occupied Austria. Steiner family had settled in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Later, in her interview to the StyleLikeU: What’s Underneath, she said that she was somewhat neglected in the childhood, because of her parents love to each other. She was free to do whatever she liked, and when working at the Art Shop (she was eliminating French gravures), she met a man and lost her virginity at the age of 14. However, later on she used this weakness to make it her strength.
After finishing school, Lisl went to the University of Buenos Aires and later switched to the Fernando Fader School of Arts. A talented graduate, she found herself a job pretty quickly. In her 20, she was already helping to film documentaries for the Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When Lisl fell in love with her future first husband, she was worried about her previous sexual experience and her father told her, “Any man who does something to you, can’t take away your virginity”. At the meantime, she had married to a man at the age of 23, but this marriage fell apart four years later. Even though they divorced, they parted as friends.
Her first step to the recognition as a photographer of famous political figures was at the age of 30, when she published the photo of Pedro Eugenio Aramburu, a former Argentina’s president, in the Life Magazine. In the following years she took pictures of the legendary people: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Oscar Niemayer, Martin Luther King, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Louis Armstrong, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Ray Bradbury, Pelé, Robert Kennedy, Duke Ellington, Ingrid Bergman, Miles Davis, Leonard Bernstein, Cornell Capa, Carmen Amaya, Adlai Stevenson, Franz Beckenbauer, Rod Steiger, Pau Casals, Pablo Neruda, Nat King Cole, Sir Thomas Beecham, Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter, Erich Leinsdorf, Fidel Castro, B.B. King, Norman Mailer, Jorge Luis Borges, Claire Yaffa, Friedrich Gulda ... She is definitely called the greatest photographer of the Times Magazine for a reason!
In her interview Society Is Kaput & Other Truths from an Ageless Spirit: Lisl Steiner she told the viewers how she met her husband, psychiatrist Meyer Monchek. Her friend, an Austrian- American architect and his wife offered her to meet with Meyer, who had recently divorced at that time and she agreed, because not long before that the man, to whom she was engaged refused to marry her. The lived happily for 24 years, up until his death in 1992. Not only she had to stay on her own in her old age, but she has also suffered from the breast cancer and agreed to remove both of her breasts.