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Russell Lee

Russell Lee was an American photographer and photojournalist,his technically excellent images documented the ethnography of various American classes and cultures.


  • Russell Lee was born in 1903 in Ottawa, Illinois, United States.

  • Education

    • Lee received a degree in chemical engineering from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1925. He studied painting from 1929 to 1935 and then began photography.


    • Since 1947 he has been a freelance photographer, and from 1965 to 1973 he was a lecturer in the Art Department of the University of Texas. Previously he had worked at the U.S. Department of Interior Coal Mines Administration (1946-47), for the Air Transport Command, U.S. Army (1943-45) and for the Farm Security Administration (1936-43). He also worked as a plant manager and chemist from 1925 to 1929.

    Major achievements

    • PUBLICATIONS Monograph: Russell Lee: Photographer, F. Jack Hurley, 1978. Books: Executive Order 9066: The Internment of 110,000 Japanese Americans, Maisie & Richard Conrat, 1972; A Medical Survey of the Bituminous Coal Industry, J. T. Boone, 1947 (U.S. Dept, of the Interior: Wash., D.C.).


    • Resting farmer, Crowley, LA
    • Conversation at the General Store, near Jeanerette, Louisiana, 1938


    Lee has been a member of ASMP since 1950.
    Russell Lee
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    Born July 21, 1903
    Died 1986
    (aged 82)
    • 1925
      Lehigh University
      Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States
    • 1925 - 1929
      plant manager and chemist
    • 1936 - 1943
      Farm Security Administration
    • 1943 - 1945
      Air Transport Command, U.S. Army
    • 1946 - 1947
      U.S. Department of Interior Coal Mines Administration
    • 1947
      freelance photographer
    • 1965 - 1973
      lecturer, Art Department of the University of Texas