Gordon Parks Biography
Birthday: November 30, 1912 (Sagittarius)
Born In: Fort Scott, Kansas, United States
Gordon Parks was an American photographer, writer, film director, and musician. He was one of the most celebrated photographers of his time and was known for his remarkably expressive images that explored the impact of racism. He is also remembered for his photographic essays for ‘Life’ magazine and for being the first African American to direct motion pictures on issues faced by black Americans. Born in Fort Scott, Kansas, as the youngest of fifteen kids to a farmer, Parks grew up in poverty at a time when racism and segregation were commonplace. As a child, he was not allowed to attend social activities or play sports in school. His mother died when he was a teen, and he later struggled to survive by working several odd jobs. His rendezvous with photography happened when he saw pictures of migrant workers in a magazine. After purchasing his first camera at a pawnshop and teaching himself how to use it, he was hired by the Farm Security Administration despite his lack of professional training. The multitalented Parks soon became a known photographer and also managed to earn distinction in other fields, including films and music. He also published several books on photography. On a personal note, he was married and divorced three times and had four kids. Parks died of cancer in 2006, at the age of 93.