HC-B was shy
It appears that Henri Cartier-Bresson was hysterically adamant about that nobody must photograph him (I mean seriously hysterical). I must say I think that's a big blind spot, or hypocrisy, from a man who made his fame and fortune photographing others who had not given permission.
His reason given was that if his face were to become famous, he could no longer photograph people in anonymity. I think even so this was very full of himself. I think one has to become much more famous than any photographer has ever been, to be widely recognized on streets. I have my face prominently on a web site with 80,000 visitors daily, and I've been on a TV program which has been seen by millions of people, and yet it has only ever been locally that people have called me out in the street. It's odd, for I consider myself to have a humongous ego, but I still can't imagine myself so famous that I couldn't walk in peace on streets. (And by god I would not want it.) But maybe HC-B had an even bigger ego, I dunno.
Update: Contrariwise, Mike Johnston actually says (in the comments under that article) that there were stories about how Henri actually did get recognized sometimes, and even followed. Sounds strange to me. Perhaps he was one of the kind of people who just has such a strong presence that people notice him. But still: who the hell would recognize him, and how, except for his using a Leica in the street?
... But I'm actually reminded of somebody who wrote that he had seen Henri photographing in the street, jumping about in a quick manner like a hunting cheeta, and the man wrote that he immediate knew that this was HC-B, despite the fact that he had never seen his photo. Interesting thought.
I remember in 2000, I heard of this singer, Shania Twain. I don't own a radio, never listen to it. And yet, one day I heard a song in a restaurant, and I immediately knew that it was Shania Twain. I find this so interesting, I just knew. I knew almost nothing about her, except I guess I'd seen her picture and name, but something of the feeling of her just trans... (what's the word for going past barriers?*) everything somehow. (And it's not that I was or am a big fan, I can hardly remember her music now, and I even remembered her name wrong.)
* (update, TCGirl pointed me again to the reverse dictionary. I guess I was thinking of "transcends".)