David Duprey, File, Associated Press
FILE - This Nov. 1, 2000 file photo shows photographer Milton Rogovin in the subway station where several of his photos hang in Buffalo, N.Y. Before Rogovin began documenting the lives of the poor and working class, the U.S. government was documenting Rogovin, relying on a network of informants in an era of paranoia toward suspected communists. He's called "dangerous to the internal security" in an internal FBI memo, one of 600 pages reviewed by The Associated Press ahead of the first anniversary of Rogovin's death in January 2011, at the age of 101.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Before Milton Rogovin (roh-GOH-vin) began documenting the lives of the poor and working-class as a photographer in Buffalo, the U.S. government was documenting him.

The FBI secretly compiled more than 600 pages of material on Rogovin from the 1940s to the 1970s, relying on a network of informants in an era of Communist paranoia.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the FBI file just ahead of the first anniversary of Rogovin's death in January 2011 at the age of 101.

Much of the material details the attendance of the optometrist-turned-photographer at Buffalo Communist Party meetings.

His grown children say their father was never a threat to the country and was driven by his passion for social justice and civil rights.