Dale Rooks

Many of the photographs on this site are believed to have been taken by Dale Rooks of Grand Rapids MI. From 1944-1945, my grandfather accompanied Rooks during his photographic excursions through the end of World War II and was a subject in many of his photos.  After the war was over, Rooks traveled to Buffalo NY to photograph the wedding of Jack and Katherine Baker.

The biography below came from The Grand Rapids (Michigan) Public Library website, which can be referenced here:  https://www.grpl.org/wiki/images/230.pdf

Rhinedale (Dale) Rooks was born in 1917 in Grand Rapids, MI and died in 1954 in Grand Rapids, Mi. of cancer. Dale’s father was Albertus Rooks, former Calvin College Principal, 1900-1918, and Dean of the College, 1918-1942. His mother was Grace (Oostining) Rooks. Dale Rooks had two brothers Marius Rooks, which would work with Dale in his Grand Rapids photography company, and Corbyn (Corbijn) Rooks.

Dale graduated from Grand Rapids Christian High School and went to Calvin College. While at Calvin College, Dale worked for the Calvin College annual Prism. After graduation in 1938 Dale worked as a news photographer for the Muskegon Chronicle. Dale then moved to Milwaukee to photograph for the Milwaukee Journal. In 1940 Dale moved to Kent, OH to teach at Kent University in the Journalism department. Two years later in 1942, Dale moved to New York City to work for the newspaper PM as a feature photographer.

In 1944 Dale joined the US Coast Guard and for two years was a combat photographer in the Mediterranean area. After working with the Coast Guard Dale then was a roving staff photographer for LOOK magazine.

In 1947 Dale Rooks moved back to Grand Rapids to start his own business and to be a freelance photographer. Dale married Sally Rooks and had three children; Jan, Daryll, and Dalene. Dale authored the book “Everybody’s Photo Course” and photographed for “Three Little Bunnies” and “Three Little Puppies” both published by Rand McNally as Famous Elf Books in 1950 and 1951 respectively and were written by Ruth Dixon.

Dale’s photographs were featured in magazines such as: Family Circle, Good  Housekeeping, House & Garden, House Beautiful, LIFE, U.S. Camera, Fortune, Science Illustrated, Flying, and the newspaper The New York Times. Dale Rooks is most famous for his furniture photography and his special effects photography. Most of the photographs that were sent to major magazines of the Grand Rapids Furniture Markets were taken by Dale Rooks.


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