Gordon Parks (1912–2006) was born in Fort Scott, Kansas. As a young man, he made his way to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he began his career as a photographer in the late 1930s. He worked as a photojournalist for the St. Paul Recorder and other local newspapers, and as a fashion photographer for Frank Murphy’s Town and Country department store, where the restaurant Pazzaluna is today. Parks continued to photograph wide-ranging subjects throughout his career—documenting poverty and segregation for the American federal agency known as the Farm Security Administration (FSA), creating moving photo-essays for Life magazine on topics ranging from gangs in Harlem to the Civil Rights Movement, and taking fashion photographs for Vogue and Glamour. He was the first African American staff photographer at Life, the first African American director at a major Hollywood studio, and the founder and executive director of Essence magazine. A true Renaissance man, Parks was also a noted author, poet, composer, and humanitarian.