Born in Philadelphia, Steve McCurry studied history and cinematography at Pennsylvania State University before working as a freelance photographer in India. He is most famous for his evocative color photography, which has captured stories of human experience that, in the finest documentary tradition, transcend boundaries of language and culture.
His career was launched when he crossed the Pakistan border into rebel-controlled Afghanistan - just before the Russian invasion - to take the first pictures of the conflict. Since then many of McCurry's images have become modern icons. A high point of his career was the rediscovery of an unidentified Afghan refugee girl, which many have described as the most recognizable photograph in the world today.
His coverage won him the Robert Capa Gold Medal for Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad, an award dedicated to photographers exhibiting exceptional courage and enterprise. McCurry has covered many areas of international and civil conflict, including the Iran-Iraq war, Beirut and the Gulf War. His travels have also taken him to southeast Asia and the spiritual temples of Angkor Wat and Cambodia, made known to many through his memorable images for National Geographic magazine.
A member of the prestigious international photo agency Magnum since 1986, he is the recipient of numerous awards including Magazine Photographer of the Year, awarded by the National Press Photographers Association. This was awarded in the same year in which he won an unprecedented four first prizes in the World Press Photo Contest. He has won the Olivier Rebbot Memorial Award twice. This monograph on McCurry follows a chronological order, identifying major themes and examining key works; a beautifully produced, affordable introduction to one of the leading figures in photography today.
Anthony Bannon is Director of George Eastman House, the International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, New York. He has curated an exhibition on McCurry's Tibetan works and his publications include Photo Pictorialists of Buffalo (1981).