Burnis “Mac” McCloud was an award-winning photographer who took thousands of pictures of African Americans throughout Colorado.
McCloud was born May 5, 1908, in Birmingham, Alabama to Mamie McCloud (later Saunders) and the Reverend F.W. McCloud, pastor of Evnon Baptist Church in Altoona, Alabama.
At an early age, McCloud found his passion for photography. At the age ten, he found camera parts while going through a junkyard. McCloud took the parts to a photography store where the owner told him if he could put the camera together, he would teach him to use it.
McCloud graduated from Birmingham’s Industrial High in 1928. He began his residency in Denver in 1930 where he found work as a custodian in the State Capitol building.
While in Denver, McCloud took pictures of African Americans at every important social event and civic activity held in Colorado. He took photographs of African Americans where they lived, worked, and socialized. He also photographed the activities of civil rights organizations for the Urban League and the N.A.A.C.P. He was also the key photographer for numerous social clubs and organizations in Colorado. In the 1980s, complications from diabetes, including failing eyesight, forced McCloud’s retirement. He died December 4, 1990.