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