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Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks

  • Shaft (1971) September 18 (ET) - Reminder REMINDER
  • Learning Tree, The (1969) September 18 (ET) - Reminder REMINDER
  • Super Cops, The (1974) October 18 (ET) - Reminder REMINDER
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Also Known As: Died: March 7, 2006
Born: November 30, 1912 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Fort Scott, Kansas, USA Profession: Director ...
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MILESTONES

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From age 15 worked as a busboy in Chicago, dining car waiter, a piano player in a Minnesota bordello, a Harlem dope runner, a big-band singer and professional basketball player
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Worked during the Depression for the Civilian Conservation Corps
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Took up photography in the late 1930s
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Worked with Roy Stryker at Farm Security Administration
1937:
First assignment as photographer of women's fashions for St Paul, Minnesota, store; worked as freelance fashion photographer in Minneapolis
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Went to Washington, DC, where worked with Dorothea Lange and Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration
1944:
Served as a correspondent with Office of War Information during WWII
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Worked as a photographer for Standard Oil Company in New Jersey
1947:
Published first book, a non-fiction work entitled "Flash Photography"
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Became first black photographer for Conde Nast's <i>Vogue</i>
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Joined staff of <i>Life</i> magazine as a photographer; became <i>Life</i>'s first black staff photographer in 1952
1953:
Composed his first "Piano Concerto"
1954:
Began serving as a color and black and white consultant on motion picture productions in the USA and Europe
1961:
Film debut, directed and wrote documentary short, "Flavio"
1963:
Had his first novel published, the autobiographical "The Learning Tree"
1964:
Became an independent photographer and filmmaker
1967:
Composed "Tree Symphony"
1969:
Directed, produced, wrote and scored first feature film, "The Learning Tree"
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Co-founded and served as editorial director of <i>Essence</i> magazine
1971:
Directed his commercial breakthrough feature, "Shaft"
1975:
Published a collection of his poetry and photographs entitled "Moments Without Proper Names"
1972:
First film appearance, as a croupier in his "Shaft's Big Score"
1984:
Named to the NAACP Hall of Fame
1984:
Directed and composed score for his first TV special, "Solomon Northrup's Odyssey", a historical drama presented on PBS's "American Playhouse"
1985:
Served as an informal consultant to director Steven Spielberg during the production of "The Color Purple"
1988:
Directed, composed the score, provided poems and appeared in "Gordon Parks: Moments Without Proper Names", an autobiographical documentary special on PBS
1990:
Executive produced, directed, composed the score, served as librettist and keyboardist, and provided documentary photography for "Martin", a five-movement ballet inspired by incidents in the life of Martin Luther King, Jr; broadcast on PBS
1992:
Provided the voice of Henry Highland Garnet for "Lincoln", a two-part, four-hour ABC documentary special about Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War
1992:
Provided photos of Malcolm for Spike Lee's biopic "Malcolm X"
1994:
Appeared in the documentary "Malcolm X: Make It Plain" on PBS's "The American Experience"
2000:
Was subject of the HBO documentary, "Half-Past Autumn: The Life and Times of Gordon Parks"

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