Chris Fowler Martinez is a third generation photojournalist born and raised in Southern California. His grand-father, Perry Fowler, was a renown photographer and Chief Photographer for The Los Angeles Herald-)- Examiner at the end of his career. Perry Fowler was attached to the Office of Special Services (OSS), a forerunner to the CIA, covering action in North Africa and Yugoslavia during World War II as a correspondent. He was captured by the Nazis while in Yugoslavia and held as a prisoner of war in a Bavarian stalag for more than a year before being rescued by General Patton's Army near the end of the war.
Chris' father, Milton Martinez, also a photojournalist and entrepreneur, began his journalistic career under the tutelage of his father-in-law, Chris' maternal grandfather, in the 1950's and ended in the much publicized Herald-Examiner strike in 1967.
Chris did not take today's traditional pathway into journalism. He grew up among photojournalists. He recalls accompanying both his grandfather and father as they covered the events and people in Southern California.
At the tender age of 15, Chris earned his first by-line, with the help of his father who was assigned to cover baseball's All-Star Game at Anaheim Stadium in 1967. Two of his photos ran in the next day's edition; future Hall of Famer, Hank Aaron, in a play at second base, and Tony Perez being congratulated at the plate after hitting the game-winning home run in extra innings. (Herald-Examiner Photos by Milt Martinez and Chris Martinez)
After this early beginning, Chris knew the process of photojournalism would be his calling. That calling would have to wait until after his four-year military service during the Vietnam years and college. In 1979 he returned to work with his father, who at this time had become successful in commercial photography.
Chris' journalistic career was born 22 years ago. Beginning in 1988 freelancing with UPI for a year before a seven-year run, in the same position, with The AP in Los Angeles. He then took on a similar role with Reuters until 1999. After a year away from journalism, he taught sailing, Chris joined the award-winning staff at La Opinion in 2000, the nation's largest circulated Spanish-Language daily based in Los Angeles.
Chris has now returned to the world of freelance. Finding the daily deadline routine restrictive, Chris will now have more opportunities to seek out and illustrate those people, places, and events that impact our lives today.