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20th Century Photographers by George Schaub, Grace Schaub

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26Gordon Parks

Photographer’s Forum, February 1988

Gordon Parks (1912–2006) was born in Fort Scott, Kansas. He saw many places, met many faces, and accomplished many things. Before taking to photography in the late 1930s, Parks worked as a piano player, a dining car waiter on a train, and had a stint as a professional basketball player. By 1942, Parks was in Washington, D.C. working with Roy Stryker on the Farm Security Administration (FSA) photography project. During World War II Parks worked as a correspondent in the Office of War Information (OWI), also with Stryker and FSA photographers.

In 1949, Parks joined LIFE magazine. As a staff photographer he was given challenging and diverse assignments, from his celebrated high-fashion work to his ...

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