Gordon Parks at 100

“I still don’t know exactly who I am. I’ve disappeared into myself so many different ways that I don’t know who ‘me’ is.”

Gordon Parks was one of America’s greatest photographers with a career spanning fifty years and several genres including civil rights and fashion. He was also a writer and film director with his most famous films being the autobiographical The Learning Tree and Shaft starring Richard Roundtree. Throughout his life, Gordon’s work challenged stereotypes while he educated, influenced and inspired a broad audience.

I learned of Gordon’s expansive photographic works during a 1997 exhibition Half Past Autumn at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC and I’ve been a fan every since. I remember being moved by Gordon’s raw depictions of the everyday life of poor people, the way his lens captured the stark realities of the civil rights movement and the innocence and humanity of the famous people he had the privilege of photographing throughout his career.

Drew Barrymore

Langston Hughes

Eartha Kitt playing baseball in Central Park

Eartha Kitt dancing in Central Park

“I’m in a sense sort of a rare bird.”

Fashion Editorial: Hair

Colored Only Water Fountain

Colored Entrance

Gloria Vanderbilt

Gloria Vanderbilt and Gordon were great friends and Gloria’s son, Anderson Cooper has said that Gordon was his hero and the person most responsible for encouraging his career in journalism.

Editorial: Spanish Fashion

Andy Warhol

Walking in Central Park with Andy Warhol, Grace Jones, and Dina Merrill.

The G.O.A.T. Muhammad Ali

Marilyn Monroe

“I had a great sense of curiousity and a great sense of just wanting to achieve.”

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