Famed Civil Rights Photographer Dies at 85

Bob Adelman captured many moments in the life of civil rights icons such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. 

Malcolm X speaking
Malcolm X speaking Bob Adelman

Famed photographer Bob Adelman, whose portfolio captured many moving moments during the civil rights movement, died Saturday in Miami. He was 85 years old.

“He was an amazing man with a passion for civil rights, a sweetheart of a guy,” Adelman’s attorney told the Miami Herald.

Adelman’s most iconic work happened during the 1960s, documenting civil unrest in the South and intimate portraits of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Adelman was also there for the brutal 50-mile march King led from Selma to Montgomery, Ala.

“It was probably the greatest display of the people’s right to protest that I’ve ever participated in,” Adelman told the Florida paper last year.

The New York Daily News reports that Adelman’s online portfolio also featured a photo of King’s body inside his casket after his assassination.

Many of Adelman’s photos are archived at the Library of Congress. Many moments from that time were published in his 2007 book, Mine Eyes Have Seen: Bearing Witness to the Struggle for Civil Rights.

Adelman, a graduate of Columbia University, launched his magazine career as a protégé to John F. Kennedy’s favorite photographer, Jacques Lowe. His work has appeared in publications such as Time, Life and the New York Times Magazine, according to his website.

He moved to Florida from his native New York in 1997, the Herald reports.

Read more at the Miami Herald and the New York Daily News.

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