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Gordon Parks clippings and obituary materials

 Collection
Call Number: RH MS P884

Overview

The Gordon Parks collection consists of materials from several Kansas newspapers on Parks' work, life, and death.

Dates

  • 1969, 1991, 2006

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Gordon Parks

Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks was born 30 November 1912 in Fort Scott, Kansas to Andrew Jackson and Sarah (Ross) Parks. At fifteen, after his mother's death, Parks moved to St. Paul, Minnesota to live with family.

In the 1930s, after working a variety of jobs, Parks landed in Chicago, where he discovered photography. Following World War II, during which he was an Office of War Information correspondent, Parks joined the staff of Life in 1949; he remained with the magazine until 1972.

While working as a photographer, Parks also began writing, publishing autobiographies, essays, and poetry. In this capacity as writer, Parks was a founder and, from 1970 to 1973 editorial director, of Essence magazine. In 1968, Parks directed the filmic adaptation of his first autobiography, The Learning Tree. He also directed several popular fiction films, including Shaft (1971). In addition to photography, writing, and film directing, Parks also became involved with music, writing films scores, popular music, and classical pieces.

During his lifetime, Parks was honored with a variety of awards and honors. In 1972 the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) presented him with their highest award, the Springarn Medal, and in 1988 he received a National Medal of Art. In 1985 Parks was named Kansan of the Year. He also received numerous honorary degrees from universities and colleges across the United States.

Parks married Sally Avis circa 1934; they had three children: Gordon, Jr., Toni, and David. The couple divorced in 1961. In 1963, Parks married Elizabeth Campbell, with whom he had a daughter, Leslie; they divorced in 1973. That year Parks married Genevieve Young and they divorced in 1979. Following a battle with cancer, Gordon Parks died 7 March 2006 in New York, New York.Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks was born 30 November 1912 in Fort Scott, Kansas to Andrew Jackson and Sarah (Ross) Parks. At fifteen, after his mother's death, Parks moved to St. Paul, Minnesota to live with family.

In the 1930s, after working a variety of jobs, Parks landed in Chicago, where he discovered photography. Following World War II, during which he was an Office of War Information correspondent, Parks joined the staff of Life in 1949; he remained with the magazine until 1972.

While working as a photographer, Parks also began writing, publishing autobiographies, essays, and poetry. In this capacity as writer, Parks was a founder and, from 1970 to 1973 editorial director, of Essence magazine. In 1968, Parks directed the filmic adaptation of his first autobiography, The Learning Tree. He also directed several popular fiction films, including Shaft (1971). In addition to photography, writing, and film directing, Parks also became involved with music, writing films scores, popular music, and classical pieces.

During his lifetime, Parks was honored with a variety of awards and honors. In 1972 the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) presented him with their highest award, the Springarn Medal, and in 1988 he received a National Medal of Art. In 1985 Parks was named Kansan of the Year. He also received numerous honorary degrees from universities and colleges across the United States.

Parks married Sally Avis circa 1934; they had three children: Gordon, Jr., Toni, and David. The couple divorced in 1961. In 1963, Parks married Elizabeth Campbell, with whom he had a daughter, Leslie; they divorced in 1973. That year Parks married Genevieve Young and they divorced in 1979. Following a battle with cancer, Gordon Parks died 7 March 2006 in New York, New York.

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet (1 folder + 1 oversize box)

Scope and Contents

The Gordon Parks newsclippings and obituary materials date from 1969, 1991, and 2006. They consist of clippings related to The Learning Tree movie, Parks' life, and an announcement of and articles about his death. The collection also contains programs from Parks' funeral.

Oversize materials from the collection are located at RH MS R277.

Physical Location

RH MS P884

Physical Location

RH MS R277

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Daniel Arthur Lauing.

Title
Guide to the Gordon Parks Collection
Subtitle
Gordon Parks clippings and obituary materials
Author
Finding aid prepared by mbw, 2010. Finding aid encoded by mbw, 2010.
Date
2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in<language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
Sponsor
Support for the processing of this Collection was provided by the Dana and Sue Anderson African American Collecting Program Endowment Fund.
Finding aid permalink
http://hdl.handle.net/10407/9897610985
Preferred citation
Gordon Parks clippings and obituary material, RH MS P884, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

Contact:
1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States
785-864-4334