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Don McCullin

Don McCullin


Sir Don McCullin was born in London and spent his childhood in the economically depressed area of Finsbury Park. He left school at the age of fourteen following the death of his father and worked at odd jobs to support himself joining the Royal Air Force as an aerial photography assistant. His first reportage on “The Guvnors,” a youth gang from his childhood neighborhood, was published in The Observer in February 1959. In 1961, he travelled to Berlin to witness the construction of the wall that came to symbolize the Cold War. He photographed his first open conflict essay about the civil war in Cyprus in 1964. In 1966 he began an eighteen-year affiliation with the London Sunday Times Magazine, covering major conflicts and battlefields — the Congo, Biafra, Israel, Vietnam, Cambodia, Northern Ireland, Bangladesh, Lebanon, El Salvador, Iraq, and Syria — and became recognized both as a master of black-and-white photography and as a legendary war photographer. He is the author of more than twenty books, including his acclaimed autobiography, Unreasonable Behaviour. Previous recognition includes two Premier Awards from World Press Photo, the 2006 ICP Infinity Awards Cornell Capa Award, and the 2016 Master of Photography at Photo London. He was made Commander of the British Empire in 1993, and was knighted in 2017. His work has been exhibited worldwide, including a full retrospective of his career presented by London’s Tate Britain in 2019.