Howard Morehead Papers
Howard Morehead was born and raised in Topeka, Kansas where he graduated from Topeka High School. Upon graduation, he joined the Air Corps, becoming a pilot in Tuskegee, Alabama. In 1946, after his tour of duty he moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA. He transferred to Los Angeles City College were he earned a degree in photography. He later studied journalism at Los Angeles State College. He attended the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles, to further study motion picture photography.
Howard joined the staff of the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper in 1950, later freelancing for various newspapers and magazines. He became the first West Coast staff photographer for Johnson Publishing Company. He subsequently became known for the many covers he photographed for Ebony magazine and for the Jet magazine centerfold.
In 1970, Howard became the first African American in Los Angeles hired as a staff cameraman for television station KTLA. After a year, he moved to KABC-TV where he spent seventeen years as a cameraman before retiring.
Morehead also traveled extensively, and photographed in China, Russia, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, East and West Africa. He died in July, 2003.
Morehead photographed most of the important jazz musicians of his time, including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Miles Davis and others. He shot album covers for Ray Charles and jazz great Dexter Gordon. His photographs appeared in newspapers, magazines, books, television and album covers. He had two tunes recorded in his honor: "Blues for Howard" by Buddy Collette and "Ballad for a Bronze Beauty" by Teddy Edwards. The latter piece was created because Howard was the producer of the popular Miss Bronze California Beauty Pageant and the Bronze Beauty calendar, which won awards for Best Glamour Photography from the Calendar Marketing Association.
Predominantly photographs taken by Morehead of jazz musicians and venues in Los Angeles. Also includes some correspondence, personal and business papers, as well as books, videotapes, and LP recordings from his personal collection.
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