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
Worked during the Depression for the Civilian Conservation Corps
Took up photography in the late 1930s
Worked with Roy Stryker at Farm Security Administration
First assignment as photographer of women's fashions for St Paul, Minnesota, store; worked as freelance fashion photographer in Minneapolis
Went to Washington, DC, where worked with Dorothea Lange and Arthur Rothstein for the Farm Security Administration
Served as a correspondent with Office of War Information during WWII
Worked as a photographer for Standard Oil Company in New Jersey
Published first book, a non-fiction work entitled "Flash Photography"
Became first black photographer for Conde Nast's <i>Vogue</i>
Joined staff of <i>Life</i> magazine as a photographer; became <i>Life</i>'s first black staff photographer in 1952
Composed his first "Piano Concerto"
Began serving as a color and black and white consultant on motion picture productions in the USA and Europe
Film debut, directed and wrote documentary short, "Flavio"
Had his first novel published, the autobiographical "The Learning Tree"
Became an independent photographer and filmmaker
Composed "Tree Symphony"
Directed, produced, wrote and scored first feature film, "The Learning Tree"
Co-founded and served as editorial director of <i>Essence</i> magazine
Directed his commercial breakthrough feature, "Shaft"
Published a collection of his poetry and photographs entitled "Moments Without Proper Names"
First film appearance, as a croupier in his "Shaft's Big Score"
Named to the NAACP Hall of Fame
Directed and composed score for his first TV special, "Solomon Northrup's Odyssey", a historical drama presented on PBS's "American Playhouse"
Served as an informal consultant to director Steven Spielberg during the production of "The Color Purple"
Directed, composed the score, provided poems and appeared in "Gordon Parks: Moments Without Proper Names", an autobiographical documentary special on PBS
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
Provided the voice of Henry Highland Garnet for "Lincoln", a two-part, four-hour ABC documentary special about Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War
Provided photos of Malcolm for Spike Lee's biopic "Malcolm X"
Appeared in the documentary "Malcolm X: Make It Plain" on PBS's "The American Experience"
Was subject of the HBO documentary, "Half-Past Autumn: The Life and Times of Gordon Parks"