Bob Linder

Hard Hills, Hard Times: Portrait of Poverty in the Missouri Ozarks 1985
Hard Hills, Hard Times: Portrait of Poverty in the Missouri Ozarks 1985
The child — poverty — is dressed in a flannel shirt worn to softness and in loose-fitting trousers from another person’s home.He wants, but often cannon have. He eats, but often not properly. He is warm, but not far from being cold.He walks the hills of south-central and southeastern Missouri, but his tread is subtle. He is not desperate, but he is poor — poor, according to the standards by which Americans judge poverty. — Steve CusickThe Ozarks hill country of south-central and southeastern Missouri, rich though it is in refreshing beauty, reassuring traditions and resourceful people, is one of America’s poorest regions in economic terms.In the winter of 1985 writer Steve Cusick and I produced an eight-part series looking at poverty in seven of Missouri’s poorest counties. The series, titled “Hard Hills, Hard Times,” was published in the Springfield News-Leader.The statistics were compelling but it was still an startling experience to actually see how so many people were existing in 19th-century living conditions. However, many of the people living in poverty do not consider themselves poor. Some choose the subsistence lifestyle their parents lived in the rugged hills.
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Bob Linder is a native of Springfield, Missouri, were heLinder 5 attended Missouri State University. Like many photographers, Linder began his interest in still photography and filmmaking in his early teen years, followed by high school journalism.

Linder was a photojournalist for the Springfield Daily News, Leader-Press and News-Leader for 37 years. Working as staff photographer, chief photographer, photo editor, photography director for custom content and multi-media specialist, he received numerous awards from United Press International, The Associated Press, NPPA, Gannett Co. and the Missouri Press Association. He is a former faculty member of the Missouri Photojournalism Workshop.

Embracing the changing times, Linder specialized in reproducing color photography in print in the 1970s and ‘80s, set up the newspaper’s digital darkroom in the 1990s, introduced the company’s first digital cameras and placed the newspaper’s first video on the internet.

While enjoying all types of photography, Linder’s passion has always been photographing the people and places of the Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks.