Charles Phillips (1932-2003)

It is almost axiomatic that accomplished photographers begin their careers with rather elementary entry-level positions and then work their way up. Charles Phillips (1932-2003), however, had a Leica in his hand the first time out. The six-foot-four photographer began taking pictures while serving in the Army during the Korean War. Upon receiving his discharge, he began work for LIFE. As a staff photographer, he covered protests against the war in Vietnam; he was gassed during the mayhem in the streets at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. After LIFE, Phillips shot extensively for the Smithsonian Institution and the Architectural Bureau of Indian Affairs. 

Adapted from The Great LIFE Photographers

Antiwar demonstrators protesting US involvement in the Vietnam War outside the Democratic National convention. (Photo by Charles Phillips/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Antiwar demonstrators protesting US involvement in the Vietnam War outside the Democratic National convention. (Photo by Charles Phillips/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam March on Washington, DC (Photo by Charles Phillips/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam March on Washington, DC (Photo by Charles Phillips/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

More Like This

Owner of the foam rubber store, Forcite, Inc., Victor Sabatino questioning a Chicago administrative manager Herman Horowitz. (Photo by Grey Villet/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Grey Villet

Steve McQueen aims a pistol in his living room. (Photo by Loomis Dean/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Loomis Dean

Bikini clad actress Jayne Mansfield posing with shapely bottles floating around her in her pool. (Photo by Allan Grant/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation). Photographer

Allan Grant

President Franklin D. Roosevelt listening to speeches. (Photo by Thomas McAvoy/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Thomas McAvoy

Huge crowd gathered in the surf and amp; at the beach in front of Coney Island Amusement Park. (Photo by Marie Hansen/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation) Photographer

Marie Hansen

Students from Chiao Tung University during an Anti-American demonstration. (Photo by Jack Birns/ The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation). Photographer

Jack Birns