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Howard Bingham: Photographing Ali And America

Art & Design

Howard Bingham: Photographing Ali And America

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Muhammad Ali with the Beatles in Miami, Fla., in 1963. Howard Bingham hide caption

toggle caption Howard Bingham

Muhammad Ali with the Beatles in Miami, Fla., in 1963.

Howard Bingham

Muhammad Ali speaks at Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1967. Howard Bingham hide caption

toggle caption Howard Bingham

Muhammad Ali speaks at Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1967.

Howard Bingham

Photographer Howard Bingham has taken some of the most iconic photographs of the last 40 years, from the civil rights era to today. He is largely known for his photo documentation of heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali, but his work spans from the Black Panthers, to Little Richard, to Nelson Mandela.

Born in Mississippi in 1939, Bingham had little formal training as a photographer; he says he simply "learned on the job."

He was on assignment for a local Los Angeles newspaper when he met a young Cassius Clay, who would later become Muhammad Ali. The boxing great became Bingham's lifelong friend, and Bingham documented Ali's life and struggles on film.

Bingham describes himself as the "Forrest Gump of photojournalism" — frequently "popping up" at just the right time to document some of the greatest moments in American history.

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