Karsh was first introduced to public figures in the late 1920s, during his apprenticeship as a portrait photographer in Boston. Prominent politicians soon became regular sitters at his studio in Ottawa, the nation’s seat of government. By the end of his career, in addition to other projects and assignments, Karsh had photographed thousands of the most influential, wealthy and beautiful figures of the 20th century. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one such figure. In August 1962, Karsh was sent to Atlanta, Georgia to photograph the Reverend for a national publication. King had just returned from nearby Albany, where he had led a lengthy and effective assault on segregation. When this photograph was taken, King had been leading the civil rights battle for six years.