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Steve Schapiro, Photojournalist Who Bore Witness, Dies at 87

Steve Schapiro, a photojournalist and social documentarian who bore witness to some of the most significant political and cultural moments and movements in modern American history, starting in the 1960s with the struggle for racial equality across the Jim Crow South, died on Jan. 15 at his home in Chicago. He was 87.

The cause was pancreatic cancer, his wife, Maura Smith, said.

Steve Schapiro’s photo of the Memphis hotel room of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after he was shot in 1968. Mr. Schapiro blended it with his image of the shooter James Earl Ray’s handprint, which he photographed in the boarding house across the street, from which Mr. Ray had shot Dr. King.


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Steve Schapiro’s photo of the Memphis hotel room of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after he was shot in 1968. Mr. Schapiro blended it with his image of the shooter James Earl Ray’s handprint, which he photographed in the boarding house across the street, from which Mr. Ray had shot Dr. King.
Steve Schapiro’s photo of the Memphis hotel room of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after he was shot in 1968. Mr. Schapiro blended it with his image of the shooter James Earl Ray’s handprint, which he photographed in the boarding house across the street, from which Mr. Ray had shot Dr. King. Credit... Steve Schapiro; courtesy of Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles