Alfred Watson was born on March 5, 1916, in Elliott, Pennsylvania. A self-taught artist, In 1941, he received his first gallery acceptance from the Handsworth Photographic Society in Birmingham, England, and one year later, he was awarded a Red Cross Certificate of Merit for his image of a nurse bathing a baby.
In October, 1945, Watson was selected by the Photographic Society of America to be part of a group of 32 photographers whose work was shown on the First Western European Circuit and, in 1947, he was named an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain.
By the end of 1951, he had received over 1000 print acceptances from galleries in 45 countries and was awarded 5-star exhibitor status from the Photographic Society of America. Since his last exhibit in 1973, his work has been acquired by a number of museums including the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.
Alfred Watson passed away in Evanston, Illinois on February 5, 2003, one month shy of his 87th birthday.