African-American directing pioneer Gordon Parks was remembered at a star-studded memorial service in New York City on Tuesday (14MAR06). The SHAFT director, who spent 20 years working as a photographer for Life magazine, died last week (07MAR06) following a cancer battle. He was 93. Two thousand friends, family members and colleagues gathered at the Riverside Church to listen to performances of Parks' musical compositions and one of his poems. Former New York mayor DAVID DINKINS says, "He was larger than life and made us all feel larger by just being in his company. He earned his place in history and in our hearts." Star Trek actor Avery Brooks remarks, "He taught us that to stand and be counted was the way to be." Shaft producer Joel Freeman and designer Gloria Vanderbilt were also in attendance. Parks will be buried alongside his parents in his native Kansas.