Charles Moore, 1931-2010

Birmingham, Alabama 1963 Photo by Charles Moore

Influential civil rights photographer Charles Moore died last week  in Florida. He was 79. His iconic images from the 50s and 60s, especially those of police, fire hoses and dogs attacking black protesters, were widely credited with changing the national mood and paving the way for civil rights legislation. Without his images appearing in Life magazine, the average American couldn’t really understand what was going on. His impact can probably not be overstated.

In Birmingham when I saw the dogs I don’t think anything appalled me more, and I’ve been to Vietnam,” Mr. Moore told the New York Times in 1999. “I photographed it, and the world rushed in. I realized the power of even one image. . . . What changed was my awareness. I wanted to show how awful, how vulgar, how terrible this whole thing was.”

For more, read the Washington Post tribute and watch the BBC slide show.

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