Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Gordon Parks (1912 - 2006)

Gordon Parks was born in Fort Scott, Kan. on Nov. 30, 1912. He died today (March 7, 2006).

As the first black staff photographer at Life magazine, he was known for his coverage of poverty, crime and civil rights from 1948 to 1968. He was also known for his fashion photography for Vogue. He finished life as a photojournalist, novelist, screen writer, movie director, actor, poet and composer.

In his books include, "A Hungry Heart : A Memoir" (2005), "Eyes with Winged Thoughts : Poems and Photographs" (2005), "A Star for Noon : An Homage to Women in Images, Poetry and Music" (2000), "Half Past Autumn : A Retrospective" (1998), "Glimpses Toward Infinity" (1996), "Voices in the Mirror : An Autobiography" (1990), "Learning Tree" (1987), "The Gordon Parks collection: Kansas State University, Department of Art" (1983), "Gordon Parks: Photographer at large ; January 11 to February 26, 1982" (1982), "Flavio" (1978), "Gordon Parks Whisper" (1971), "Gordon Parks: A poet and his camera" (1969) and "Choice of Weapons" (1966) among others.

His movies include, "Flavio" (1964), "The World of Piri Thomas" (1968), "Diary of a Harlem Family" (1968), "The Learning Tree" (1969), "Shaft" (1971), "Shaft's Big Score" (1972), "The Super Cops" (1974), "Leadbelly" (1976) and "Solomon Norhup's Odyssey" (1984 - TV).

His awards include, Jackie Robinson Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award (2002) and induction into the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum (2002), honorary Doctor of Letters, University of the District of Columbia (1996), Library of Congress National Film Registry Classics film honor for "The Learning Tree" (1989), National Medal of the Arts (1988), Christopher Award for "Flavio" (1978), Spingarn Award (1972), Emmy Award for documentary in "Diary of a Harlem Family" (1968), Notable Book Award, American Library Association for "A Choice of Weapons" (1966), Julius Rosenwald Fellowship (1941). He has more than 20 doctorates.

See the PDN and KodakProfessional Legends Online series of images.

Enough for now,

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