Born in Mississippi in 1939, Howard L. Bingham is the recipient of the prestigious 1997 APS Award for Excellence. Mr. Bingham had no formal photography training: rather, he learned photography "on the job" working as a photographer at The Sentinel, a small black newspaper in Los Angeles.

On one of his assignments for The Sentinel he met a young heavyweight fighter, Cassius Clay. That assignment would be the beginning of a lifetime friendship between Mr. Bingham and the greatest sports figure of this century, Muhammad Ali.

Aside from being the personal photo-biographer of Muhammad Ali, Mr. Bingham was a contract photographer for Life and Sports Illustrated, with photo essays appearing in Look, Newsweek, Playboy and Ebony.

Mr. Bingham, who refers to himself as the "Forrest Gump" of photojournalism because he just keeps "popping up as history is being made," has used his camera to document 30 years of America's growing pains.