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March 3, 2016

This Is What the World of Male Models Looked Like in the Early 1960s

As demand for male models rose in the early 1960s, one agent was on the hunt for "million-dollar faces."

John Harkrider was the founder, owner, talent scout and booking agent of the Harkrider male model agency from the early 1960s. The majority of the scout’s roster of nearly 2,000 had been recruited by Harkrider himself, whose daily routine involved walking up to strangers on the streets of New York City and declaring, “You’ve got a million-dollar face!” before leaving them with his business card.

The agent trained his men in the art of yes. “Never say no,” he told them. “If they ask you if you can be there tomorrow afternoon in a suit of armor, say yes. I’ll get it.” And with a diverse roster of men and boys of varying ages and looks, his ability to meet clients’ needs was second to none.

Agent John Harkrider gives orders to a large group of his young male models before he takes them en masse to the office of prospective client.

Always scouting for models, Harkrider talks to a good-looking construction worker about a possible job.

Agent John Harkrider talking to a potential male model.

John Harkrider talks to a group of construction workers.

Potential male models.

Harkrider often roamed the streets of New York followed by a posse of models.

Male models recruited by John Harkrider.

Harkrider shows off fashion photos of male models.

Harkrider and recruits look up at the camera.

Harkrider works his magic on potential models.

A male model receives instruction during a photo shoot.

(Photos: Yale Joel—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)


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