Photographer and director Gordon Parks.NEW YORK (AP) — Gordon Parks, who captured the struggles and triumphs of black America as a photographer for Life magazine and then became Hollywood’s first major black director with "The Learning Tree" and the hit "Shaft," died Tuesday, a family member said. He was 93.

Parks, who also wrote fiction and was an accomplished composer, died in New York, his nephew, Charles Parks, said in a telephone interview from Lawrence, Kansas.

"Nothing came easy," Parks wrote in his autobiography. "I was just born with a need to explore every tool shop of my mind, and with long searching and hard work. I became devoted to my restlessness."

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