Beatles photographer Robert Whitaker dies at 71

October 2, 2011 - 9:35 AM

LONDON (AP) — Photographer Robert Whitaker, who shot some of the most famous — and infamous — images of The Beatles, has died at the age of 71.

Whitaker's friend, photo archivist Dave Brolan, said he died of cancer Sept. 20 in Sussex, southern England.

Whitaker took scores of well-known pictures of The Beatles, including the controversial "butcher" cover of the 1966 American album "Yesterday and Today."

The image of the Fab Four in white coats surrounded by decapitated dolls and slabs of raw meat proved too strong for record company Capitol, which ordered the cover withdrawn soon after the album's release.

The record was rereleased with an inoffensive picture of the band sitting on a steamer trunk. Originals are coveted by collectors and can sell for thousands of dollars.