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Sold at Auction: Charles Moore



Charles Lee Moore (March 9, 1931 – March 11, 2010) was an American photographer known for his photographs documenting the Civil Rights Movement. Probably his most famous photo is of Martin Luther King Jr.'s arrest for loitering on September 3, 1958. It is this photo that sparked Moore's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.

Moore was born in 1931 in Hackleburg, Alabama. He served three years in the U.S. Marines as a photographer and then attended what was then known as the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California. He next worked as a photographer with the morning and afternoon newspapers The Montgomery Advertiser and The Montgomery Journal.

In 1958, while working in Montgomery, Alabama for the Montgomery Advertiser, he photographed an argument between Martin Luther King, Jr. and two policemen.[1] His photographs were distributed nationally by the Associated Press, and published in Life.

From this start, Moore traveled throughout the South documenting the Civil Rights Movement. One of his most well-known photographs[2], Birmingham, depicts demonstrators being attacked by firemen wielding high-pressure hoses. U.S. Senator Jacob Javits, said that Moore's pictures "helped to spur passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964."[1]

In 1962, Moore left the newspapers to start a freelance career. He worked for the Black Star picture agency, which sold much of his work to Life.

Moore went on to cover the Vietnam War and conflicts in Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Haiti. He then moved on to nature, fashion and travel photography, in addition to corporate work.

In 1989, Moore became the first recipient of the Eastman Kodak Crystal Eagle Award for Impact in Photojournalism which is awarded for a "body of photographic work which has influenced public perceptions on important issues of our time" in the NPPA–University of Missouri Pictures of the Year International Competition.[3]

In 2008, Moore's last photography observed the removal of a tree at Barton Hall, a historic 1840's plantation home.
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