Guy Crowder, chronicler of black Los Angeles, dies at 72

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Guy Crowder, a photographer who recorded the trials and triumphs of black Angelenos for close to five decades, died Sunday of complications from pneumonia. He was 72.

If it fazed Guy Crowder that the Southland’s daily newspapers overlooked life in Black Los Angeles, he didn’t let on. He just showed up with his camera and chronicled politics, sporting events, social and leisure activities for local publications like the Wave and the Sentinel newspapers and the national magazines Ebony and Jet.

In the process, he compiled an incomparable archive of personalities and events – from the early campaigns of cop-turned-councilman-turned mayor Tom Bradley and the glory days of Muhammad Ali…to the 1965 riots in Watts…to the debut of the first Black cheerleader for the NFL’s LA Rams. Other photojournalists praised Crowder for finding his way smack dab into the middle of the action, and for helping many of them get there, too.