Photos that won Pulitzer Prize

The Pulitzer Prize awards for photography were established in 1942 and since then it has been rewarded to many emotional and heart touching photos. These amazingly expressive and impressive photos were divided into two classes: prize for news breaking photos and the prize for feature photography. Here are top 10 Pulitzer prize winning photos along with the stories behind them.


10. American Soldiers Dragging Viet Cong – taken by Kyoichi Sawada on 19th August, 1966


This picture shows the aftermath of The Battle of Long Tan in South Vietnam. An attack was launched on Australian troops during night by Viet Cong but they were driven back. A soldier shown in the picture is one of many victims who were tied and dragged brutally. This picture not only showed the indifference to cruelty of those who spent a long time in war but also slammed those who were in favor of war.

9. The Johnny Bright Incident – taken by Don Ultang and John Robinson on 20th October, 1951


Johny Bright was a college football player for Drake Bulldogs. He was deliberately hit and his jaw was broken during the game. A sequence of six photos clearly demonstrated it as a deliberate attempt from the rival team’s player. The referee did not take it serious and justified it as part of the game. Moreover, no action was taken against the offender who belonged to Oklahoma A & M

8. Serious Steps – taken by Paul Vathis, 1962


In this picture, two (former) presidents of United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower & John F. Kennedy are walking at Camp David. At the time of picture, Kennedy asked Eisenhower what was his opinion about Bay of Pigs Invasion? Vathis (photographer) claimed that both presidents were holding their heads high just before the question.

7. Lone Jewish Woman – taken by Oded Balilty, 1 February 2006


Amona is located in the west bank of Israel. The Israel’s government stated Amona as the site of illegal inhabitants, regardless of their Israeli citizenship or not. About 10,000 police officers were ordered to evacuate the place. In this picture, a Jewish woman is trying to stop the armed forces lonely. She tried to prevent them from destroying their living place but was pushed back and there was no other option left to her except of cursing them in Herbew.

6. Fatal Hollywood Drama – taken by Anthony Roberts, 1973


One afternoon, Anthony Roberts was walking through the parking lot of Hollywood when he heard a women shouting and screaming for her life. Roberts went there and saw a man beating a woman badly. At that time, Roberts was unarmed with just camera in his hand, so he warned the man that his picture was taken but he did not care. During all this happening, a guard came there and asked the man to let the women go but he kept on beating her. Instantly, the guard took out his pistol and shot the man in his head. Roberts took the picture of the moment he pulled the trigger.

5. The Shooting of James Meredith – taken by Jack Thornell, 6 June 1966


James Meredith was a popular activist for civil rights. He was leading a march when he was shot by a man named Aubrey Norvell. In this picture, Meredith is lying and shouting for help saying ‘Isn’t anyone going to help me’. The photographer of this photo, Thornell asked him to remain calm as an ambulance was on its way. James was shot from head to buttocks with a 63 Birdshot pellets but miraculously none of his major organ or vein was harmed. He healed within two days and continued with the march. Norvell was found guilty and he was sent to jail.

4. Ford Strikers Riot – taken by Milton Brooks, 1941


The employees at Ford automobile called off strike in 1941 when their demand for salary increase was refused. This picture was taken by Milton Brooks when a strikebreaker went into the crowd to disperse them, but the protestors surrounded him and beat him badly. Brooks said that the victim hide his face under his coat for protection when he took the photo, hide his camera and ran away.

3. The Soiling of Old Glory – taken by Stanley Forman, 5th April 1976


In 1965, an order was issued for the desegregation of buses in Boston, Massachusetts. By 1974, protests against this reform started to up-rise and soon became a serious problem to be dealt with. This picture was taken by Stanley Forman in which Theodore Landsmark; a civil rights activist and a black lawyer can be seen assaulted by Joseph Rakes, a white American who was equipped with the strongest weapon – the flag of America.

2. Saigon Execution – taken by Eddie Adams, 1968


Captured by Eddie Adams, this is one of the most notorious photos. The man with the pistol is Nguy?n Ng?c Loan, who was national chief of police and a major general in South Vietnamese army. Most probably, Nguy?n V?n Lém is the name of the man that was killed by Loan. A gang of murderers who used to kill policemen or their family to spread terror was led by Lem and when he was caught, Loan killed him in the temple. Adams regrets of taking this photograph as he think that the life of that officer or his family could be ruined just because of him.

1. The Kiss of Life – taken by Rocco Morabito, 1967


Randall Champion and J. D. Thompson were power linemen and were performing their daily work on the top of the pole when 4,000 volts of electricity struck Champion. Although his safety belts prevent him from falling but the current was more than enough to stop his heartbeat.

Thompson quickly reached his fellow to help him. He was unable to perform Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in that position so he started mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until he felt a minor pulse. Afterwards he unbuckled Champion’s belts and brought him down. Thompson along with his companion performed CPR and saved his life.

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