Family moved from Indiana out to California in the early years of the Twentieth Century, while McCord was still young
Quit school at age 17 (date approximate)
Got a job working in a film laboratory
Began working at age 19 at the Hobart Bosworth Studio as an assistant to photographer James Van Trees
First credit as cinematographer, sharing credit with James Van Trees on "Sacred and Profane Love"
First solo credit as cinematographer, "For Sale", which also began a tenure at First National Studios lasting until 1929
Shot the first of six films he made starring Colleen Moore, "Flirting with Love"
Was put under contract by cowboy star Ken Maynard
Worked with Maynard on a series of Westerns for First National Studios
Went with Maynard to Universal Studios, where they continued their collaboration until 1934, though McCord increasingly made more films with other stars and sometimes at other studios
Worked almost exclusively for Warner Bros.
Last film before WWII service, "Action in the North Atlantic", also one of McCord's first "A" budget pictures
Served in the US Army Air Force photographic division; achieved the rank of captain (date approximate0
Was one of the first Americans to enter Berlin at the end of WWII; photographed the interior of Adolph Hitler's chancellory
First feature film after WWII service, "That Way with Women"
Received first of three Oscar nominations for Best Cinematography for his work on the black-and-white "Johnny Belinda", which was also nominated for Best Picture
Rare credit on non-US film, "Smog", an Italian film directed by Franco Rosi
Received last of three Oscar nominations, and his first for work in color, for "The Sound of Music"
Last film, "A Fine Madness"