David Hume Kennerly
David Hume Kennerly has been shooting on the front lines of history for 50 years. One of the youngest winners of the Pulitzer Prize, David Hume Kennerly’s 1972 award for Feature Photography included images of the Vietnam War, Cambodia, the Mohammed Ali v. George Frazier fight, and refugees from east Pakistan. Two years later, on Aug. 10, 1974, at age 27, Kennerly was appointed President Gerald R. Ford's personal photographer where he served as White House Photographer for the next two years.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Kennerly’s career. In addition to documenting his 12th presidential election, Kennerly will focus his efforts in 2016 on completing decades-long effort to assemble, organize, protect, and make his extraordinary archive available to the public in the form of a public installation, major museum retrospective, lecture series, and release of limited edition prints of Kennerly classic images.
In addition to the Pulitzer, the Roseburg, Oregon native’s awards include two first prizes in the 1976 World Press photo contest for pictures from the final days of Cambodia; the 1985 Overseas Press Club’s Olivier Rebbot Award for “Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad,” for his coverage of Reagan and Gorbachev’s historic first summit meeting in Geneva; and the 2015 Lucie Foundation Masters of Photography award for Achievement in Photojournalism.
Kennerly has photographed more than 50 major magazine covers and has covered stories in dozens of countries. He served as a contributing editor for ten years for Newsweek magazine and recently for POLITICO in which his 2015 photo essay “I Want to Be with the Circus”, was one of the most widely viewed in the publication’s history. He has worked as a contributing photographer for TIME & Life magazines, John F. Kennedy Jr.'s George magazine. American Photo Magazine named him “One of the 100 Most Important People in Photography”, and Washingtonian Magazine called Kennerly one of the 50 most important journalists in Washington, D.C.
Kennerly’s work has been exhibited at The Smithsonian Institution, The Annenberg Space for Photography, The Portland Art Museum, Houston Center for Photography, Savannah College of Art and Design in Lacoste, France, University of Southern California, The University of Texas at Austin, and a career retrospective at Visa Pour L’Image in Perpignan, France. His work from Vietnam was featured in the War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath, curated by Anne Wilkes Tucker for the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. And, Kennerly was featured in the original short documentary, The War Photographers, produced as a companion to the exhibit by the Annenberg Space for Photography.
Kennerly maintains a busy appearance and speaking schedule, including corporate keynotes, and speeches for professional organizations, conferences, and panels. Appearances have included The Newseum’s 2015 panel discussion on Vietnam, The Entertainment Gathering in Monterey (EG), Aspen Ideas Festival, The Sea Island Creativity Conference, TED-x, CEO Summit, and Bank of America's board meetings and Student Leadership Summit. He is a sought after academic presenter and speaks regularly at universities, colleges, and libraries, including the 2015 Commencement speech at Lake Erie College. He is a member of the Canon Explorers of Light program that sponsors an elite group of photographers who lecture at photography events and forums.
Kennerly is on the Board of Trustees of the Gerald R. Ford Foundation and the Atlanta Board of Visitors of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). He is a member of the board of directors of the Eddie Adams Workshop, the Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles, and Creative Visions Foundation. In 2014, Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio established the David Hume Kennerly endowed scholarship for students of the visual arts.