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Russell Lee

July 21, 1903 - August 28, 1986


Russell Lee was an American photographer best known for his depression-era work done for the Farm Security Administration (FSA).

A bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering led to a job as a chemist, but Llee decided to change his career and become a painter. The photo studies he did for his art led to an interest in photography itself. In 1936 he was hired by the FSA to document families during the depression.

Lee was one of the photographers who in 1942 documented the forced relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps during World War II. He is also known for his photography of coal mines and miners in Kentucky.

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