Photo: Bereaved celebrities Nancy Wilson, Eartha Kitt, Sammy Davis Jr., Sidney Poitier, Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. and actor Marlon Brando proceed to Dr. King’s funeral., Moneta Sleet Jr., Ebony Collection. April 1968.
Moneta Sleet, Jr. (February 14, 1926 - September 30, 1996) is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph entitled “Deep Sorrow”. He captured the photograph of a tearful Coretta Scott King cradling her daughter Bernice at the funeral of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sleet was the first and only black man working for a black publication (Ebony magazine) to win a Pulitzer Prize.
Sleet joined the staff of Ebony in 1955 and spent 41 years there, capturing photos of ordinary people and superstars. He covered Dr. King’s Nobel Prize Ceremony acceptance in 1964. He was in Africa in the 1950s photographing the independence of several African nations. He documented the Civil Rights Movement.
Of his photography, Sleet said, ”You’ve got to know when to intrude and when not to intrude and when to pull back. You have to be very patient, a thing that’s good for me because I have a lot of patience and don’t mind waiting -the thing is to get the editors to wait.”