Google Doodle Honors Corky Lee, Photographer of Asian-American Life
On May 6th, 2023, Google honors the life and legacy of Corky Lee, a photographer who dedicated his life to capturing the diverse and multifaceted experiences of Asian Americans. Through his lens, Corky Lee documented the struggles and triumphs of the Asian American community, shedding light on their unique perspectives and experiences.
Born on July 3, 1948, in Queens, New York, Corky Lee grew up at a time when the Asian American community was largely invisible in mainstream media and society. Determined to make their voices heard, Corky Lee took up photography as a way to document and celebrate the rich culture and history of Asian Americans.
Over the course of his career, Corky Lee captured countless images that not only showcased the beauty of Asian American life but also highlighted their struggles. He was known for his powerful photographs of protests, community gatherings, and cultural events, which depicted the strength and resilience of the Asian American community.
One of his most famous works is the photograph titled “Miss Chinatown U.S.A., San Francisco, California,” which shows a young Asian American woman wearing a traditional Chinese dress, holding an American flag, and standing in front of a backdrop that reads “Celebrate the Freedom to be Yourself.” This photograph became an iconic representation of the Asian American experience and was featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times.
Corky Lee passed away on January 27, 2021, due to COVID-19 complications. However, his legacy lives on, and his photographs continue to inspire and educate people about the Asian American experience. Through his lens, Corky Lee captured not just images, but also the spirit and heart of the Asian American community, leaving behind a powerful and enduring legacy.
Today, on what would have been Corky Lee’s 75th birthday, we honor his contributions to Asian American culture and history. Google’s Doodle serves as a tribute to Corky Lee, reminding us of the importance of documenting and celebrating the diverse experiences of all people.