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Rex Features co-founder Elizabeth Selby dies aged 96

Frank and Elizabeth Selby the founders of Rex Features photographed in July 2013 ©Barry Peake
Frank and Elizabeth on their wedding day 1948

Sad new reaches the PAN offices this morning, the passing of Elizabeth Selby, co-founder of photo agency Rex Features.

Elizabeth who was 96, died peacefully in hospital on Sunday 14thNovember after a sudden decline in her health.
Her family has contacted PAN wanting to inform the many industry colleagues who either knew her or knew of her, but whom they have not been able to contact directly.

A full obituary will be published later this week on PAN.

Elizabeth ran Rex Features with her husband Frank Selby who died in 2018.

The industry remembers Elizabeth:

“ Visitors to Rex Features, and there were many in the early days of Bapla, were always sure of a welcoming smile from Elizabeth Selby and Frank. With their European background of the picture industry they were good to talk to in the Cepic years as well.. I am glad that they will now be together again in the great Rex in the sky .”

Alan Smith – Topfoto

If you would like to leave a memory of Elizabeth out comments box is open below or send me and email me


  • A vibrant presence whenever Mrs Selby visited Rex in my 13 years there. Always took time to talk to staff, and usually had a great anecdote to share. An amazing and inspirational legacy.

  • It is with great sadness to hear of the passing of Elizabeth Selby. I joined Rex in 1968 retiring 2007. They were marvelous years. Condolences to all the family.

  • I have known Elizabeth Selby for almost 50 years. Along with Frank they were the very backbone of the industry throughout their working lives. She will be sadly missed.

  • I began my career as a receptionist at Rex Features and Mrs Selby was a very kind and wonderful boss. I remember her coming to the office and making time to speak to every employee she came across. She and Mr Selby were so clearly in love and positively shone in each other’s company. The picture empire they built was centred around the photographer and Rex was known as the biggest and the best. I was really sad to hear of her passing and send my condolences to Mike, John and Sue.

  • The Selbys were at the heart of a group of London picture agencies whose contributors were lucky enough to have their work looked after by people who actually loved photography – and photographers. A few remain, keeping the faith. Frank and Elizabeth personified the very best.

  • A wonderful woman who was a huge part of my life and my late Dad’s long career at Rex. Mrs Selby, you will be greatly missed x

  • Lovely people. What they didn’t know about the picture industry wasn’t worth knowing. Supportive, generous and with a level of honesty and integrity unparelled in this world.

  • […] Elizabeth Selby who founded ‘Fleet Street’s’ longest running independent press photo agency Rex Features with her husband Frank Selby died peacefully aged 96 on Sunday 14th November 2021. See our report 22 November. […]

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