This image, which is on the cover of Facing History's publication Crimes Against Humanity and Civilization: The Genocide of the Armenians was painted by the artist Arshile Gorky. It is based on a photograph of Gorky and his mother, Sushan der Marderosian, taken in 1912. Although Gorky is generally identified as an American artist, he was born Vosdanig Adoian near the city of Van in what was then the Ottoman Empire. A few years after the photograph was taken, Gorky and his mother were victims of the Armenian Genocide. While he survived, Gorky remembers his mother dying in his arms. As an artist Gorky returned to the subject of the 1912 photograph many times throughout his career.
After graduating from Alameda High School in June 1949, Calvin attended University of California at Berkeley in 1949. While at University, he was drafted to serve in the Korean War in January 1951. After serving, he returned to school to complete a degree in electrical engineering and went on to work in the high tech industry in Silicon Valley.