Gordon Parks was born on a farm in Kansas, the youngest of 15 children. When his mother died, he was sent to St. Paul, Minnesota. He dropped out of high school and worked a variety of jobs from playing piano to playing semiprofessional basketball. At the age of 21, Gordon married Sally Alvis, he soon bought his first camera. and began to learn the skills of photography. His series of photographs about the ghetto life in Chicago won him a Julius Rosenwald Fellowship in 1941. While Gordon was doing a variety of jobs he was a During his life he also wrote a few books, one being called "The Learning Tree". The story is about a black family during the 1920’s.