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Famed Civil Rights photographer Bob Adelman dies

CAPTURER: Photographer Bob Adelman

FAMED PHOTOGRAPHER Bob Adelman, whose portfolio captured many iconic moments during the American Civil Rights movement, has died.

The photographer was found dead on Saturday (Mar 19) in his home in Miami Beach.

Ernesto Rodriguez, a spokesman for the Miami Beach Police Department, said his death is still being investigated.

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.

When Martin Luther King J. made his I Have A Dream speech at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, Adelman was standing just a few feet away with a camera to his eye.

Adelman was also there for the brutal 50 mile march King led from Selma to Montgomery and Dr King's funeral.

“It was probably the greatest display of the people’s right to protest that I’ve ever participated in,” Adelman said during an interview last year.

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 favourite photographer, Jacques Lowe. His work has appeared in publications including Time and the New York Times Magazine.

Adelman, who was white, said he became interested in African American life after watching Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker perform in the late 40s. When he heard about the student sit-in movement, he offered to help.

Bonnie Clearwater, who put on a retrospective of his work at the NSU Museum in Fort Lauderdale, said he may have been a photographer, but Adelman was an artist and activist first.

"He was part of the movement, so he had access into both big moments and intimate moments that most photo journalists wouldn't," she said.

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