David Hume Kennerly is considered a master storyteller by his colleagues, and has been shooting on the front lines of history for decades. He was one of the youngest winners of the Pulitzer Prize.
The Roseburg, Oregon native won the 1972 Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for Feature Photography for his previous year’s work that included photos of the Vietnam, Cambodia, and India-Pakistan Wars, and the Ali-Frazier fight in Madison Square Garden. In 1976 he was awarded two first prizes in the World Press photo contest for pictures from the final days of Cambodia. He has been presented with numerous other honors, including the 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. American Photo Magazine. Named him “One of the Most 100 Most Important People in Photography.”
Kennerly has shot more than 50 major magazine covers and has covered stories in dozens of countries. He was a contributing photographer for Time & Life Magazines, John F. Kennedy, Jr’s George magazine, and for ten years was a contributing editor for Newsweek.
Kennerly is the author of seven books. The most recent, David Hume Kennerly On the iPhone, was released in the fall of 2014. Previous books include Shooter, Photo Op, Seinoff: The Final Days of Seinfeld, Photo du Jour, and Extraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford. He produced, “Barack Obama: The Official Inaugural Book,” in 2009, and was one of its principal photographers.
Kennerly’s work has been displayed in many major exhibitions, including at the Smithsonian where they displayed images from Photo du Jour, a career retrospective at Perpignan Visa Pour L’Image , 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 and the University of Texas at Austin. 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 he was used in the original short documentary, The War Photographers produced as a companion to the exhibit by the Annenberg Space for Photography.
Kennerly is producer of The Presidents’ Gatekeepers, a four-hour documentary project about White House chiefs of staff that ran on The Discovery Channel in 2013. He is currently executive producing, “The Presidents’ Spymasters,” a documentary about the directors of the CIA for CBS and Showtime. A directing graduate of the American Film Institute’s Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies, Kennerly was nominated for a Primetime Emmy as executive producer of NBC’s, The Taking of Flight 847, and was the writer and Executive Producer of a two-hour NBC pilot, Shooter, starring Helen Hunt, based on his Vietnam experiences. Shooter won the Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography. He is Executive Producer of the documentary, Portraits of a Lady for HBO starring former Justice Sandra Day O’Conner, which made the short list of films eligible for the 2008 Academy Award nominations. He is featured in the 2012 BBC documentary The Scot who Shot the Civil War about photographer Alexander Gardner and is executive producer of, Bucksville, a feature film shot in Portland featuring Tom Berenger. Kennerly directed a television commercial starring former mayor Ed Koch shot for New York Presbyterian Hospital.
Kennerly has also focused his lens on corporate assignments. His major clients include Bank of America, The Home Depot, The Girl Scouts of America, eBay, New York Presbyterian Hospital, and the Points of Light Foundation. His documentary-style photography and strong focus on portraiture provides organizations with powerful tools for telling their stories and his images have been used in multiple applications, from major advertising campaigns to internal documents . If you have bought Girl Scout cookies lately you have seen his work—his photos appear on the front of millions of Girl Scout cookie boxes!
He speaks extensively around the country, and was a featured speaker at the Entertainment Gathering, (EG), Aspen Ideas Festival, The Sea Island Creativity Conference, the CEO Summit, Bank of America’s International Board of Visitors and Student Leadership Summit, TED-x Bend and dozens of colleges and organizations. He is a member of the elite Canon Explorers of Light program and lectures frequently at forums sponsored by them.
This coming May Kennerly will be the commencement speaker at Lake Erie College in Ohio, and will receive an honorary doctorate.
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.
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