These buildings held 50,000 chickens. I said ‘Mr. Purdue, would it be OK if I got a chair and asked you to stand on it?’ He said OK. Then I said, ‘Mr. Purdue, can I ask you to hold a chicken?’ He said sure. Later, when we got back to his office, his secretary told me the Washington Post had called and asked that I go back to the office.
I usually go home, particularly if it’s after 5 or 6 in the evening, so I drove back two hours wondering what in the devil I’d done wrong. I arrive at the Post, and take the elevator to the fifth floor. It’s evening time and at least 200 people are working in the newsroom. So I look toward the rear, and there are the editors and the great man himself – Ben Bradlee. As I walked toward them, they started smiling. Bradlee put his arms around me and started screaming, ‘You did it. You did it! You won a Pulitzer.’ And it was bedlam from then right through the next day.
The results are in, and the 2012 Pulitzer Prizes in Photography were dominated by stories coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
- The Putlizer for Feature Photography went to Craig F. Walker of the Denver Post for his picture story entitled “Welcome Home, The Story of Scott Ostrow” that chronicles the struggles of a former Marine with PTSD after two tours in Iraq. Click here for more information.
- The award for Breaking News Photography went to Massoud Hossaini, a photographer with Agence France-Presse for his photograph of a 12-year-old girl reacting to a deadly bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan. The photo ran in many newspapers around the world on December 7, 2011. Click here for more information.
Congratulations to the winners. I well remember Hossaini's photograph. It's hard to forget. As in many years, the images are stark and upsetting, but in the words of the Citation to Walker, they are “images that enable viewers to better grasp a national issue.”