Gered Mankowitz was born in London, England, on 3rd August 1946. The first of four sons of the late 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 whilst on a school trip to Holland, Mankowitz was inspired to take up photography by the actor Peter Sellers. His photographs were eventually seen by the legendary photographer Tom Blau, who offered the young Mankowitz an apprenticeship at his famous photo agency, Camera Press Ltd., in London. Over a period of several months he worked in all the various departments that made up Camera Press, finally moving to the studio and going on various assignments in and around London.