Sunday, March 14, 2010


Staff Writer

 Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 3:30 a.m.

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Charles Moore died Thursday at his home near West Palm Beach, Fla.

He was 79.

Moore was born in Hackelburg and rose to fame in the 1950s and 1960s as a result of his almost accidental career as a photojournalist.

As the lone photographer on the scene at Martin Luther King Jr.'s arrest in 1958, he captured the violence and emotion inherent in the scene. In the years that followed, Moore would take some of the most enduring shots of the Civil Rights Movement: the Selma march, the riots at Ole Miss and the tragedy of the hoses and dogs turned on those in Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham.

For much of his career, he worked for Life magazine.

Shannon Wells, the photographer at the University of North Alabama who worked with Moore throughout her career, said his influence on photography will not soon be forgotten.

Moore was often in Florence to share his work and expertise.

"What can you say? He was an icon," she said. "He always took the time to teach and mentor other photographers, especially young photographers. He always wanted to share his career."

In 1991, a chronological collection of his photographs as well as his biography was printed as "Powerful Days: The Civil Rights Photography of Charles Moore."

Andrew Young, who wrote the introduction to the book, said the Moore's photographs are the legacy of what those who lived through the Civil Rights Movement endured in order to find equality.

"Many of us were treated like rats, even during the most daunting days of the movement, as Moore's photographs of the fire hose attacks in Birmingham's Kelly Ingram park graphically illustrate," he writes. "All of us must hope and pray that the lessons learned and the lives lost during the first years of the movement will be remembered and honored to infinity."

A memorial service for Moore is planned for later this year.

Monroe Gallery of Photography will exhibit several of Charles Moore's photographs during the AIPAD Photography Show March 18 - 21.

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