Gered Mankowitz was born in London, the first of four sons to author, playwright and film writer Wolf Mankowitz and his wife, the Jungian psychotherapist Ann Mankowitz.
After an education of sorts at several London co-educational "progressive" schools, he left at 15, avoiding all exams and completed his education devoid of any formal qualifications. Having displayed a natural 'eye' for photography he was offered an apprenticeship with Tom Blau at his famous photo agency, Camera Press Ltd., in London.
In the 1960s, he had fashion assignments in Paris and worked on theatre portraits back in London. He cultivated ‘showbiz’ contacts, taking photographs of actors and other personalities, and eventually began photographing musicians including Marianne Faithful. This in turn led to work with the Rolling Stones and Gered toured with the band in 1965. He made the cover photographs to their 1965 Out of Our Heads (December's Children) and 1966 Between the Buttons albums.
Mankowitz also worked with Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Marianne Faithfull and many others.