Lee, Russell Werner
(1903-1986)
   Born in Ottawa, Illinois, and orphaned at an early age, Russell Lee was educated at Culver Military Academy and Lehigh University, where he trained as a chemical engineer, graduating in 1925. After working as an engineer in 1929, Lee took up art and moved to California and then Woodstock, where he began working with photography. In 1936, he joined a team of photographers under Roy Stryker at the Resettlement Administration, which later became the Farm Security Administration, and was noted for several of his powerful images of migrant workers and rural communities.
   Lee served as a photographer for Air Transport Command during World War II and then resumed work under Stryker and produced public relations photographs for Standard Oil and the coal industry. He moved to Austin, Texas, in 1947 and helped to document the housing condition of Hispanic workers and also those in mental institutions. In 1965, he became instructor of photography at the University of Texas, where he worked until his retirement in 1973.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

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