Robert Melvin “Bob” Adelman (October 30, 1930 – March 19, 2016) was an American photographer known for his images of the Civil Rights Movement.
Adelman used his background as a graduate student in Applied Aesthetics from Columbia University to forge close ties with leading figures of art and literature, including Andy Warhol and Samuel Beckett. After studying photography for several years under the tutelage of Harper’s Bazaar art director Alexey Brodovitch, Adelman volunteered as a photographer for the Congress of Racial Equality in the early 1960s, a position which granted him access to key leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, including; Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. and James Baldwin. Adelman’s work captured a decade of racial strife during the 1960s, including portraits of Martin Luther King reciting his “I Have a Dream” speech, the 50 mile March from Selma to Montgomery, and King resting in his casket after the assassination. His photos, some of which are archived at the Library of Congress, captured segregation and civil unrest in the South. In 2007, he published his book “Mine Eyes Have Seen: Bearing Witness to the Struggle for Civil Rights”.