Fed up with working for a roofing company, Columbis Lee bought a camera and started Lee’s Photos in 1968.
Over the years, his Liberty City, Miami-based company grew into a community icon, with Lee taking photos all across Miami-Dade County, shooting images of celebrities, politiians and athletes, as well as in other parts of the nation and the Caribbean.
Lee died Friday, Dec. 30, at Palmetto General Hospital. He was 76.
The fifth child of the late James and Mary Bell Lee, Lee was educated in Mississippi schools. As a youngster, he delivered newspapers and cut lawns. As a teenager, he became a brick mason alongside his father.
He married the former Bessie Crawford and they had two sons, Gregory and Columbis Jr. At the time of his death, he was married to the former Earnestine W. Harris for 18 years. His other children included Percy Knight, Shirley D. Hightower, Eston Harris and Elke Harris. He was godfather to Monika Reed Bell.
A memorial service will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6, at New Birth East, 13230 NW Seventh Ave., North Miami. Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at New Birth Cathedral of Faith International, 2300 N.W. 135th St., Opa-locka. Range Funeral Home is in charge fo arrangements.
Photo: Columbus Lee