Photographer Bob Black was born in Chicago, Illinois, on June 4, 1939. Black was one of five children, and attended Chicago public schools. After briefly attending Woodrow Wilson Junior College, Black began working.
Black started his career as a professional photographer in 1965, working at the Chicago Defender as a staff photographer. By the time Black joined the Defender, it had already established itself as the largest African American-owned newspaper in the nation, and had been fighting for full equality for African Americans since its inception in 1905. In 1968, Black left the Defender for the Chicago Sun-Times where he remains today as a photographer.
As a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), Black was one of the founders of the Visual Task Force, an organization of still and video photographers within the NABJ. He is also a founding member of the Chicago Alliance of African American Photographers (CAAAP), established in 1999 to bring together local African American photographers to promote their work and educate future generations.
Black has been the recipient of numerous awards, including collecting first place at the World Press Photo Competition. He also actively pursues projects outside his work for the newspaper, including a series of photographs of life in the Dominican Republic and a series of photographs displayed along with other CAAAP members at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art.