Bud Lee (photographer)

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Bud Lee
Charles Todd Lee, Jr.

11 January 1941
White Plains, NY
Died11 June 2015
Plant City, FL
Known forPhotographer for Life, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Holiday, Town & Country

Charles Todd Lee, Jr. (January 11, 1941, White Plains, New York–June 11, 2015, Plant City, Florida), better known as Bud Lee, was a Florida based photojournalist and artist, known for his photograph of a boy wounded in the 1967 Newark riots.


Bud Lee was born Charles Todd Lee, Jr., on January 11, 1941 in White Plains, New York.

After joining the U.S. Army (3rd Armored Division), Lee began working as a photographer in 1965 for the Stars & Stripes (newspaper). In 1966 the Department of Defense and the National Press Photographers Association named him U.S. Military Photographer of the Year, the Award given by the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Life magazine photographer[edit]

Lee's award led to a job as a photojournalist with Life magazine where during the summer of 1967 Lee, then 26 years old, captured images of the civil rights movement in Detroit and Newark.[1] He shot the color image of a bleeding 12-year-old civilian, Joe Bass, who had been caught in the cross fire as a Newark Police Department officer shot and killed looter Billy Furr during the 1967 Newark riots. Bass survived the wounds and the image became the cover of Life magazine, July 28, 1967. As Managing Editor George P. Hunt wrote in his editorial, this was Lee's first major assignment;

"Rushing directly from an assignment on the stock market to the riot with only one workable lens, Bud shot the grim sequence of the death of a looter (pp. 20-21) as well as another tragic consequence of that shotgun blast–the boy on our cover."[2]

His cover earned Lee Life magazine's 1967 photographer of the year award,[3] and the sequence drew a first tranche of readers letters from polarized views in the 18 Aug 1967 issue of Life,[4][5] and has since provoked controversy around poverty, civil rights, passive resistance and racial profiling.[6][7][8][9][10][11]


Over the next seven years Lee would freelance for Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, Town & Country, Rolling Stone, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Vogue, Mother Jones, Ms. magazine, London Records, Columbia Records, The Sunday Times magazine, the World Telegraph and numerous other publications. He taught for many years before returning to freelance photography full-time in 1990.

Teaching and influence[edit]

In 1972, while working for the photography department at the University of Iowa Journalism School (where he taught Margo Rosenbaum),[12] Lee founded the Iowa Photographers' Workshop. After a brief period in L.A. and a long illness, Lee directed his attention to teaching art and filmmaking. After receiving a National Endowment for the Arts grant, he began the Artist Filmmaker in the Schools program in Tampa, FL. During this time, Lee met his wife and started a family.

Lee became an influential and driving force in the Tampa art scene; founding the Artists and Writers Trust and the Florida Photographer's Workshop and co-founded the annual Artists and Writers Ball.


In August 2003, Lee suffered a severe stroke and his left side was paralyzed. While some recovery occurred, from September 2008 he was resident in a nursing home. Lee and his family and friends championed the causes of people in nursing homes and the issues and problems they face.[citation needed] He died on June 11, 2015.[13]



  1. ^ Tuttle, Brad R (2009), How Newark became Newark : the rise, fall, and rebirth of an American city, Rivergate Books, ISBN 978-0-8135-4490-8
  2. ^ Life, vol. 63, Time Inc, 28 July 1967, ISSN 0024-3019
  3. ^ * A Closeup With Mortality
  4. ^ Life, Time Inc, 18 August 1967, ISSN 0024-3019
  5. ^ Mumford, Kevin J (2007), Newark : a history of race, rights, and riots in America, New York University Press, p. 153, ISBN 978-0-8147-5717-8
  6. ^ Hinton, Elizabeth Kai; ProQuest (Firm) (2016), From the war on poverty to the war on crime : the making of mass incarceration in America, Harvard University Press, ISBN 978-0-674-96922-3
  7. ^ Porambo, Ron (1971), No cause for indictment : an autopsy of Newark (1st ed.), Holt, Rinehart and Winston, ISBN 978-0-03-086012-6
  8. ^ Williams, Junius W (2014), Unfinished agenda : urban politics in the era of black power, Berkeley, California North Atlantic Books, ISBN 978-1-58394-723-4
  9. ^ Carter, David C. (David Charles); EBSCOhost (2009), The music has gone out of the movement : civil rights and the Johnson administration, 1965-1968 (1st ed.), University of North Carolina Press, ISBN 978-0-8078-3280-6
  10. ^ Woodard, Komozi; Theoharis, Jeanne (2003), Freedom North : Black freedom struggles outside the South, 1940-1980, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 978-0-312-29468-7
  11. ^ Rabig, Julia (2016), The fixers : devolution, development, and civil society in Newark, 1960-1990, Chicago London The University of Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0-226-38831-1
  12. ^ Rosenbaum, M. N. (1992). Drawing Music with Light. The Georgia Review, 46(3), 503-512
  13. ^ "Award-winning Tampa photographer Bud Lee dies at 74".
  14. ^ Gene Thornton, 'Photography: Sure Way To Ruin a Party,' in The New York Times. Sunday. February 20. 1972
  15. ^ "Bud Lee - artist, news & exhibitions - photography-now.com". photography-now.com. Retrieved 2020-01-18.

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