Steve McCurry finds himself drawn to adventure. Born in Philadelphia, he graduated cum laude from the College of Arts and Architecture at the Pennsylvania State University. After spending a couple of years in newspaper work, McCurry traveled to India. His career was launched when, dressed in native garb, he crossed the Pakistan border into rebel-controlled Afghanistan just before the Russian invasion. He then smuggled rolls of film out of the country by sewing them into the lining of his clothing. Those photos, among the first to capture the haunting realism of the conflict, were published around the world.
These pictures won him the Robert Capa Gold Medal for Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad, the first of his many honors. McCurry has been named Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association, and he has won an unprecedented four first prizes in the World Press Photo Contest.
He also has earned the Oliver Rebbot Memorial Award twice.
McCurry has covered numerous international and civil conflicts. He has photographed the Iran-Iraq War, Beirut, Cambodia, the Philippines, the Gulf War and the continuing strife in Afghanistan. His work has been featured in every major magazine in the world and frequently appears in National Geographic. He often risks his life to capture his images from the front lines, and he has survived many close calls. He was arrested and chained in Pakistan, beaten and almost drowned by zealous crowds at a religious festival in India, and nearly killed by the Mujahadeen. He survived a plane crash in Yugoslavia, and he twice has been reported killed.
A career high point was undoubtedly the National Geographic cover photo of the previously unidentified Afghan refugee girl, whom he relocated and photographed again nearly two decades after the original. That picture has been described as the most recognizable photograph in the world today. McCurry has published five books: The Imperial Way (1985), Monsoon (1988), Portraits (1999), and South Southeast published in the fall of 2000 and first-prize winner in the book category of the Pictures of the Year competition. His latest book, Sanctuary (2002), is an exploration of the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The Path to Buddha: Tibetan Pilgrimage was published this year.
Purchase an iconic image by Steve McCurry through Lucie Editions here.