1934 - 1967

“I am determined to go through the horror of this world.”

– Brian Epstein

Teased and bullied as a boy, Epstein dropped out of school at age 16. Drafted in 1952, he was discharged for “unspecific psychiatric reasons” and subsequently came out as a homosexual to a psychiatrist. He then enrolled in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts but dropped out soon after. Moving back home, he became manager of the record department at his family’s store, NEMS. While in Liverpool he saw John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Pete Best perform at the Cavern Club. Though he lacked experience in entertainment industry he was tapped to manage the band. Epstein has been credited with polishing the group’s image: replacing jeans and leather jackets with mohair suits, ending the on-stage drinking and swearing, having the band play actual sets, and making the young men bow at the close of the every show. His sheer enthusiasm caused EMI Parlophone to sign the Beatles to their first recording contract; and when they replaced Best with drummer Ringo Starr all the components were in place. In 1965 Epstein booked the Beatles onto ‘The Ed Sullivan Show,’ a performance that catapulted them into the stratosphere. He then orchestrated their sold out concert at Shea Stadium – which was the first stadium concert in rock history. Though he also managed several other groups, including Gerry and the Pacemakers, it has been suggested Epstein’s particular devotion to the ‘Fab Four’ stemmed more from his love for John Lennon than any material interest. Insecure about himself and his position, Epstein’s drug and alcohol problems escalated as his importance to the Beatles receded. He died in August of 1967 of an overdose. Given the nature of the music industry, without Brian Epstein’s guidance it is likely the world would never have heard of the four lads from Liverpool.


Gender Male

Sexual Orientation Gay

Gender Identity Cisgender

Ethnicity Caucasian/White Jewish

Faith Construct Judaic

Nations Affiliated United Kingdom

Era/Epoch Cold War (1945-1991)

Field(s) of Contribution





Commemorations & Honors

Epstein Family Home on Anfield Road Converted Into Beatles-themed Hotel Epstein House (2004)

Posthumous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ahmet Ertegun Award For Lifetime Achievement (2014)


Related Videos


Original Biography Author
Victor Salvo
Biography Edited By
Owen Keehnen
Resources Coordination
Carrie Maxwell