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 Gordon A. Parks, Sr

Gordon A. Parks, Sr

Birth
Fort Scott, Bourbon County, Kansas, USA
Death 7 Mar 2006 (aged 93)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Fort Scott, Bourbon County, Kansas, USA
Memorial ID 13558429 · View Source
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Motion Picture Director. Born in Fort Scott, Kansas, he captured the struggles and the triumphs of black America as a photographer for Life magazine and then became Hollywood's first major black director with his films "The Learning Tree" (1969) and the hit "Shaft" (1971). His other film credits included "The Super Cops," (1974); "Aaron Loves Angela," (1975); and "Leadbelly," (1976). Although growing up in poverty he became a premier fashion photographer in the 1940s, eventually working for Glamour, Vogue, and other glossy New York magazines. He was the first African American to work as a photographer for the Farm Security Administration where he developed a powerful documentary style that depicted slums, poverty, and the marginal existences of African Americans. He then covered everything from fashion to politics to sports during his 20 years at Life magazine from 1948 to 1968. As a photographer he was probably best known for his gritty photo essays on the grinding effects of poverty in the United States and abroad and on the spirit of the civil rights movement. In addition to novels, poetry and his autobiographical writings, his writing credits included nonfiction such as "Camera Portraits: Techniques and Principles of Documentary Portraiture," (1948), and a 1971 book of essays, "Born Black." He also published books of poetry and wrote musical compositions including "Martin," a ballet about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He received a host of awards during his life. In 2002, at age 90, he received the Jackie Robinson Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum. Died in New York.

Bio by: Fred Beisser


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Fred Beisser
  • Added: 7 Mar 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 13558429
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Gordon A. Parks, Sr (30 Nov 1912–7 Mar 2006), Find A Grave Memorial no. 13558429, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Fort Scott, Bourbon County, Kansas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .