Home / Biography / Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks

Biography

Photographer and article writer remembered for his function for Life newspaper. Also a film movie director, he became known for his well-known 1971 film Shaft. In his middle twenties, he started a career being a style photographer. He afterwards produced some photos documenting the severe public realities of Chicago’s South Aspect. His well-known 1940s photographs consist of “Car Packed with Home furniture on Highway” and “SUPPER at Mr. Hercules Brown’s House, Somerville, Maine.” He was created in Kansas because the youngest kid of Sarah and Jackson Parks. He wedded and divorced 3 x and acquired four kids. He aimed Richard Roundtree in Shaft.

Quick Facts


Full Name Gordon Parks
Date Of Birth November 30, 1912
Died March 7, 2006, New York City, New York, United States
Place Of Birth Fort Scott, KS
Profession Photographer
Nationality American
Spouse Genevieve Young, Elizabeth Campbell, Sally Alvis
Children Gordon Parks Jr., David Parks, Leslie Parks, Toni Parks-Parsons
Parents Jackson Parks, Sarah Parks
Siblings Maggie Lee
Awards List of recipients of the National Medal of Arts, Spingarn Medal, Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, NAACP Image Award – Hall of Fame Award
Movies The Learning Tree, Shaft, Shaft's Big Score!, The Super Cops, Leadbelly, Solomon Northup's Odyssey, Half Past Autumn, An Unlikely Weapon: The Eddie Adams Story, Half Slave, Half Free, Flavio, Moments Without Proper Names
Star Sign Sagittarius

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1 The Phantom of the Opera (1925) with Lon Chaney is his favorite film.
2 Two of his films, The Learning Tree (1969) and Shaft (1971), are in the National Film Registry.
3 Became very close with author Candace Bushnell soon after she moved to Manhattan.
4 Frequently smoked a pipe when he made cameo appearances.
5 Member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Writers Branch)
6 He was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts in 1988 by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington D.C.
7 Best known for his gritty photo essays on the grinding effects of poverty in the United States and abroad and on the spirit of the civil rights movement.
8 He was the youngest of 15 children. He dropped out of high school after his mother died. His jobs included playing piano in a brothel before he became interested in photography while working as a train porter.
9 Was the commencement speaker at the Kansa City Art Institute's Class of 1984 graduation.
10 Has three schools named after him at lifetime: The Gordon Parks Elementary School in Kansas City, MO; Gordon Parks Academy in East Orange, NJ; Gordon Parks High School in St. Paul, MN.
11 His life story was told in a TV documentary co-produced by Denzel Washington: Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks (2000).
12 Godfather to 'Quibilah Shabazz', the daughter of Malcolm X (1920-65).
13 First African-American to write, produce and direct a film for a major studio (Warner Brothers): The Learning Tree (1969), which was based on his semi-autobiographical novel of the same name.
14 Considered one of the contributors (along with Melvin Van Peebles) to the blaxploitation genre - Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971) and Shaft (1971) were the first films to start that genre.
15 Co-founder of Essence Magazine
16 Spent 1948-49 as a photographer and reporter for Life Magazine.
17 Once was a piano player in a Minnesota bordello.
18 Father of Gordon Parks Jr., David, Leslie, Toni Parks-Parsons. Grandfather of Alain, Gordon III, Sarah, Campbell and Satchel.


Director

Director

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Moments Without Proper Names 1987
American Playhouse 1984 TV Series 1 episode
Leadbelly 1976
The Super Cops 1974
Shaft's Big Score! 1972
Shaft 1971
The Learning Tree 1969
The World of Piri Thomas 1968
Flavio 1964 Documentary short

Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Shaft 2000 Lenox Lounge Patron / Mr. P
Lincoln 1992 TV Movie Henry H. Garnet (voice)
Shaft's Big Score! 1972 Croupier (uncredited)
Shaft 1971 Apartment Landlord (uncredited)

Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Moments Without Proper Names 1987
The Learning Tree 1969 novel / screenplay
Flavio 1964 Documentary short

Camera Department

Camera Department

TitleYearStatusCharacter
My Voyage to Italy 2001 Documentary still photographer
Malcolm X 1992 still photographer: Malcolm X
A Soldier's Story 1984 special still photographer - uncredited
Flavio 1964 Documentary short still photographer

Composer

Composer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Moments Without Proper Names 1987
American Playhouse 1984 TV Series 1 episode
Shaft's Big Score! 1972
The Learning Tree 1969

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Shaft's Big Score! 1972 lyrics: "Blowin' Your Mind Theme from Shaft's Big Score!", "Don't Misunderstand", "Move On In" / music: "Blowin' Your Mind Theme from Shaft's Big Score!", "Don't Misunderstand", "Move On In"
The Learning Tree 1969 lyrics: "The Learning Tree" / music: "The Learning Tree"

Producer

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Learning Tree 1969 producer

Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous

TitleYearStatusCharacter
American Experience 1994 TV Series documentary archive source - 1 episode

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper 2016 Documentary photographs courtesy of
Nosferatu vs. Father Pipecock & Sister Funk 2014 special thanks
Django Unchained 2012 dedicatee
Vixen Highway 2006: It Came from Uranus! 2010 special thanks
Bro Lee 2008 Video short special thanks
It Wasn't for Love 2008 Short special thanks
Alma's Rainbow 1994 special thanks - as Gordon Parks Sr.

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
An Unlikely Weapon 2008 Documentary Himself
Charlie Rose 1998-2006 TV Series Himself / Himself - Guest
How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It) 2005 Documentary Himself
The History Makers 2005 Video documentary Himself
Unstoppable: Conversation with Melvin Van Peebles, Gordon Parks, and Ossie Davis 2005 TV Movie documentary Himself
Family Portrait 2004 Documentary short Himself
Soul Man: Isaac Hayes 2003 TV Movie documentary Himself
Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks 2000 TV Movie documentary Himself
American Masters 1999 TV Series documentary Himself
All Power to the People 1996 Documentary Himself
American Experience 1994 TV Series documentary Himself - LIFE Photographer
Ebony/Jet Showcase 1991 TV Series Himself
Moments Without Proper Names 1987 Himself
Passion and Memory 1986 TV Movie documentary Himself
The Core of the Apple 1986 TV Series documentary Himself - Author / Film Director / Himself - Film Director
Personenbeschreibung 1979 TV Series documentary Himself
New York, New York 1972 TV Series Himself
Soul in Cinema: Filming Shaft on Location 1971 Short documentary Himself
The Mike Douglas Show 1969-1971 TV Series Himself - Composer / Himself - LIFE photographer
The David Frost Show 1969 TV Series Himself
The Dick Cavett Show 1969 TV Series Himself
The Other Americans 1969 TV Movie documentary Himself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
CBS This Morning 2015 TV Series Himself
The 79th Annual Academy Awards 2007 TV Special Herself - In Memoriam Tribute
Baadasssss Cinema 2002 TV Movie documentary Himself

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
2003 Behind the Lens Award Image Awards
1997 Oscar Micheaux Award PGA Oscar Micheaux Award


Looks like we don't have salary information. Sorry!


#Quote
1 [1976 interview in "The Village Voice"] I don't make black exploitation films.


Looks like we don't have trademarks information. Sorry!

Check Also

Mammootty

Actor most widely known for his function in Malayalam movie theater, who all won his …