Friday, March 17, 2006

Gordon Parks

On Google zeitgeist I saw 15 search terms that were most popular last week:


dana reeve ; spacecraft ; pi ; ncaa ; sopranos ; teri hatcher ; wafah dufour ; sebastian telfair ; world baseball classic ; barry bonds ; knights templar ; bettie page ; march madness ; gordon parks ; peter tomarken ; 


Most of these search terms were unfamiliar to me. For example: Gordon Parks.


I asked myself:

Who was Gordon Parks?

Why was he so popular?

What made him enter the Google Zeitgeist right now? 

Why didn't I hear about him?


I used QTSaver in order to get the answers (see bold fonts) for my questions:

Gordon Parks (November 30, 1912 – March 7, 2006) was a groundbreaking African-American photographer, musician, poet, novelist, journalist, activist and film director. He is best remembered for his photo essays for Life magazine and as the director of the 1971 film Shaft.

Parks, who was 93, passed away at his home in New York City on March 7 2006.

In 2002, at the age of 90, Gordon Parks received the Jackie Robinson Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum. These honors were only the two latest tributes bestowed on a man whose achievements in photography, literature, film, and ballet have earned him more than twenty doctorates and numerous awards. When asked why he undertook so many professions, Parks told Black Enterprise "At first I wasn't sure that I had the talent, but I did know I had a fear of failure, and that fear compelled me to fight off anything that might abet it.

Gordon Parks Sr. is an accomplished author, composer, filmmaker, and internationally renowned and award-winning photo-journalist. Born in Fort Scott, Kansas in 1912, Gordon Parks overcame poverty and racism to master his art. After his mother died when he was in his teens, Parks left Kansas for Minneapolis and supported himself by working as a piano player, busboy, basketball player and Civilian Conservation Corpsman. At the age of 25, he began to seriously consider photography as a career direction. In addition to The Learning Tree, Parks has written three other books about his life: A Choice of Weapons, To Smile in Autumn, and Voices in the Mirror. Parks also published several volumes of poetry combined with his photographs, including Gordon Parks: A Poet and His Camera; Gordon Parks: Whispers of Intimate Things; Gordon Parks: In Love, Moments Without Proper Names; Arias of Silence; and Glimpses Toward Infinity.

Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks

Plot Outline: An intimate look at the life and career of Gordon Parks a true Renaissance man who has excelled as a photographer, novelist, journalist, poet, musician and filmmaker.

Gordon Parks (1912- ) filming "The Learning Tree", Fort Scott, KS, 1968.

A collection of photographs, biographical materials, posters, and other items pertaining to the career of Gordon Parks.The materials in this collection mostly concern two movies directed by Parks; The Learning Tree and Leadbelly. A checklist of Parks' published works held by Pittsburg State University is appended to this page.

Materials pertaining to The Learning Tree were donated by Gordon Parks and by Paramount Studios in 1969.Other materials in the collection were obtained by purchase and by gift from various donors at Pittsburg State University.

Gordon Parks was born in Kansas in 1912 and spent his youth in Minnesota. During the Depression a variety of jobs, including stints as a musician and as a waiter on passenger trains, took him to various parts of the northern United States. He took up photography during his travels and by 1940 had made his first serious attempts to earn a living from the art as a self-taught fashion photographer in Minneapolis and Chicago.



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