Steve McCurry

American, b. 1950

Born in Philadelphia, Pennesylvania, McCurry studied cinematography and theatre arts at Pennesylvania State University, before going on to work in newspaper. After several years of freelance work, McCurry made his first of what would become many trips to India.

His career was launched when, wearing native clothing, he crossed the Pakistan border into rebel-controlled Afghanistan just before the Russian invasion. When he emerged, he had rolls of film sewn into his clothes that contained some of the world's first images of the conflict. His coverage won the Robert Capa Gold Medal for Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad Showing Courage and Enterprise. He has won numerous awards including the National Press Photographers' Association award for Magazine Photographer of the Year and an unprecedented four first prizes in the World Press Photo contest.

McCurry has covered many areas of international and civil conflict, including the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, Beirut, Cambodia, the Philippines, the Gulf War and continuing coverage of Afghanistan. His work has been featured in magazines around the globe. His reportage for National Geographic has included Tibet, Afghanistan, Burma, India, Iraq, Yemen, Buddhism, and the temples of Angkor Wat.

A high point in his career was finding Sharbat Gula, the previously unidentified Afghan refugee girl, whose picture has been described as one of the most recognizable photographs in the world.




Cinematography and History, Pennsylvania State University, USA


2011      Leica Hall of Fame Award, St. Moritz, Switzerland
2011      Prix LiberPress, Barcelona, Spain
2009      Abrogino D'Oro, Milan Italy
2006      Lowell Thomas GOLD
2006      National Press Photographers Association 1st Place, Buddha Rising, National Geographic
2006      Honorary Felloship, New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP)
2005      Honorary Fellowship, Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain
2005      Photographic Society of America, Photojournalism Division-International
             Understanding Through Photography Award
2003      International Photography Awards, Lucie Award for Photojournalism
2003      Distinguished Alumni Award, Pennsylvania State University
2003      Co-recipient of the New York Film Festival Gold for “Afghan Girl: Found” documentary
2002      Distinguished Visiting Fellow, College of Creative Studies, University of California
2002      Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, Fairleigh Dickinson University, NJ, USA
2002      Photographer of the Year, PMDA Professional Photographer Award
2002      Photographer of the Year ("American Photo")
2002      United Nations International Photographic Council: Special Recognition Award
2002      French Art Directors Association, Award of Excellence
2001      Photography Annual, Communication Arts 
             Award of Excellence
2000      Picture of the Year Competition
             Book of the Year; Magazine Feature Picture Award of Excellence
1999      Pennsylvania State University, Lifetime Fellow Award
1998      "Life" Eisenstaedt Awards - Our World Photo Winner and Our World Essay Finalist
1998      Picture of the Year Competition, Award of Excellence
1998      SAJA, Southern Asian Journalistic Award, Outstanding Special Project
1997      Picture of the Year Competition
             Magazine Feature Picture Award of Excellence
1996      Picture of the Year Competition
             Magazine Feature Picture Story Award ("Beggar")
             Magazine Feature Picture Story Award ("Burma: The Richest of the Poor Countries")
1994      Pennsylvania State University, Arts and Architecture Distinguished Alumni Award
1993      National Press Photographers Association, Award of Excellence ("Rubble of War")
1992      Oliver Rebbot Memorial Award, Overseas Press Club
             Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad on Gulf War Coverage
1992      Picture of the Year Competition
             Magazine Feature Picture Award of Excellence ("Fiery Aliens'") First Place, Magazine 
             Science Award ("Camels under a Blackened Sky") First Place, Gulf War News Story 
             ("Kuwait: After the Storm")
1992      World Press Photo Competition
             First Place, Nature and Environment ("Oil-Stricken Bird, Kuwait")
             First Place, General News Stories ("Kuwait After the Storm")
             Children's Award ("Camels under a Blackened Sky")
1990      Award of Excellence, White House News Photographers Association ("Spanish Gypsy")
1987      Medal of Honor, Philippines, for coverage of the 1986 Philippine Revolution
1986      Oliver Rebbot Memorial Award, Overseas Press Club
             Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad for work done in the Philippines
1985      World Press Competition, Four First Prize First place, Nature and Nature Series;
             First place, Daily Life and Daily Life Series
1985      Oliver Rebbot Award Citation ("Monsoons" and "The New Faces of Baghdad")
1984      National Press Photographers Association: Magazine Photographer of the Year
1980      Robert Capa Gold Medal Award for coverage of the war in Afghanistan for Time




2012      Obras Caja Canarias en Tenerife, Tenerife, Spain
2011      Cenani Mansion Culture Center, Gaziantep, Turkey
2011      MACRO, Rome, Italy
2011      Instituto Tomie Ohtake, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2011      St. Moritz Art Masters, St. Moritz, Switzerland
2011      Peter Fetterman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
2011      Open Shutter Gallery, Durango, CO
2011      English Theatre, Frankfurt, Germany
2011      Chris Beetles Gallery, London, England
2011      Casa de Solleric, Majorca, Spain
2011      Istanbul Modern, Istanbul, Turkey
2011      Amerikahaus, Munich, Germany
2011      Centro del Conocimiento, Misiones, Argentina
2011      Gallery of Photography, Dublin, Ireland
2010      Roosevelt House, New Delhi, India
2010      Museo Rafaela, Rajaela, Santa Fe, Argentina
2010      Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria, Perugia, Italy
2010      Masan Art Center, Seoul, Korea
2010      Centro Cultural Borges, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2009      Open Shutter Gallery, Durango, CO
2009      Asian Civilizations Museum, Singapore
2009      Palazzo della Ragione, Milan, Italy
2009      International Festival of Photojournalism, Perpignan, France
2009      The History Center, Orlando, FL
2009      Face of Asia – Palmer Museum of Art, University Park, PA
2009      Bagh- Babur, Queen’s Palace, Afghanistan
2009      Stories from the Field, Cavalier Gallery, Greenwich, CT
2009      Stadtmuseum, Schleswig, Germany
2009      Latitudes Photography Festival, Huelva, Spain
2008      Human Reflection, The Photo Symphony, Milwaukee, WI
2008      The Magnum Print Room, London, United Kingdom
2008      Face of Asia, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
2007      Camera Obscura, Denver, CO
2007      Path to Buddha, Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, FL
2007      India at 60, New York NY
2007      Pilgrimage, Morris Museum, NJ
2007      South Southeast, Rennes, France
2007      South Southeast, Art Center Waco, TX
2007      Fahey Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2007      Tibet, International Center of Tibet, Washington DC
2006      Sojourn: Narratives of Asia, Galleria ModernArte, Modena, Italy
2006      Lucca Photofest, Lucca, Italy
2006      Afghanistan’s Children: The Next Generation, United Nations Lobby, New York, NY
2006      First Photography Biennial, Alejandro Otero Museum, Caracas, Venezuela
2006      Hartlepool Art Gallery, Hartlepool, United Kingdom
2006      Face of Asia, Sir William Gray House, Hartlepool, United Kingdom
2006      Face of Asia, George Eastman House, Rochester, NY
2006      South Southeast, Valencia, Spain
2006      Pilgrimage, Madrid, Spain
2006      Daegu Photo Biennale, Daegu, Korea
2006      Cavalier Gallery, Greenwich, CT
2006      Soho Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2006      Gallery Old Town, San Diego, CA
2005      Face of Asia - Asia House, London, UK
2005      Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, USA
2004      Written with Light - Artopia Gallery, Miami, USA
2004      Pilgrimage - Fundación Sophia, Palma de Mallorca, Spain  
2004      Boca Museum of Art, Boca Raton, USA
2004      Phil Woods Gallery, Ottawa, Canada
2004      Buddhism - New Delhi, India
2003      Pilgrimage - National Geographic Society, Washington D.C., USA
2003      The Augen Gallery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia,USA
2003      Tibet House, New York, New York, USA
2003      Face of Asia - George Eastman House, Rochester, USA
2003      Arthur Ross Gallery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
2003      Levering Hall, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA
2002      Exhibition Leeuwarden, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2002      The Augen Gallery, Portland, USA
2002      The School of Photography, Madrid, Spain
2002      The Victor Barsokevitsch Photographic Centre, Finland
2002      Palacio dos Aciprestes, Pro Historica Associacao, Lisbon, Portugal
2002      Stenerson Museum, Oslo, Norway
2002      Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA
2001      Vision Workshops, Annapolis, USA
2001      Palacio dos Aciprestes, Pro Historica Associacao, Lisbon, Portugal
2001      Radiant Light Gallery, Portland, USA


George Eastman House, New York, USA
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, USA
Fondazione Palazzo Bricherasio, Torino, Italy
Ackland Museum, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA
Houston Museum of Modern Art, Houston, USA
Tokyo Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan
Palmer Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, USA
International Center of Photography, New York, USA


2009       The Unguarded Moment, Phaidon Press, USA
2007       In the Shadow of Mountains, Phaidon Press, USA
2006       Looking East, Phaidon Press, USA
2005       Steve McCurry, Phaidon Press, USA
2003       The Path to Buddha: A Tibetan Pilgrimage, Phaidon Press USA
2002       Sanctuary: The Temples of Angkor Wat, Phaidon Press, USA
2000       South Southeast, Phaidon Press, USA
1999       Portraits, Phaidon Press, USA
1988       Monsoon, Thames & Hudson, USA
1985       The Imperial Way, Houghton Mifflin, USA