Charles Gatewood, an award-winning photographer who shot both celebrities and counter culture figures, including the Hell's Angels and erotic performance artists like Annie Sprinkle, died Thursday from injuries after he fell off his third-story balcony several weeks before. He was 73.
Born in Illinois in 1942 and raised mostly in Missouri, Gatewood began pursuing a career in photography while in his first year of graduate school at the University of Missouri. While living in Stockholm, Sweden, attending school and traveling around Europe, Gatewood landed a job with AB Text & Bilder, a Swedish news wire, as a darkroom technician. The position provided him a press pass and equipment, which he used to photograph jazz concerts and other events.
In 1966, Gatewood had his first big break when he photographed Bob Dylan at a press conference. The photograph, titled "Dylan With Sunglasses and Cigarette" was picked up for syndication and published around the world.
“Taking the Bob Dylan photo gave me faith I could actually be a professional photographer,” Gatewood would later say.
Gatewood went on to shoot several celebrities and other notable figures over the next 50 years, including Beat writers William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsburg; musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald, Rod Stewart and David Bowie; and even legendary civil rights activists such as Martin Luther King Jr. His work would appear in publications such as the New York Times, Time and Rolling Stone.