David Hume Kennerly

Pulitzer Prize Winner in Journalism for Feature Photography, 1972

Personal photographer to President Ford, 1974-1977

Contributing editor, NEWSWEEK Mag., 1995-2005

Photographer for TIME, LIFE, and GEORGE Magazines

  • WONDER HOUSE @ SXSW 2020 Talks:

    Lens on Democracy: In the Room
    Friday, March 13 at 1p.m. and at 7p.m.


How will democracy stand if the cornerstone of photojournalism and the free press crumbles? This trusted photographer has a way of being in the right room for the right moment, from the presidential campaign of Robert F. Kennedy to the 2020 presidential campaigns. Spend time with Kennerly reflecting on the role photography plays in journalism and democracy through photographs of history-making moments paired with personal insight of what was happening “in the room”. Session includes the 1968 assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, final days of Nixon’s white house, Gerald Ford’s final evacuation order of Americans from Saigon, Clinton Impeachment Hearings, election 2000, aftermath of 911, the current attacks on the press and fake news. In today’s in today’s political climate it is more important than ever to capture images “in the room.”


A photographer on the front lines of history for 50 years, at 25 Kennerly was one of the youngest winners of the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism. His 1972 award for Feature Photography included images of the Ali v. Frazier World Heavyweight Championship at Madison Square Garden, the Vietnam and Cambodia wars, and refugees escaping from East Pakistan into India. Two years later Kennerly was appointed President Ford's chief White House photographer.

His photos appeared on more than 50 major magazine covers, including TIME, LIFE, and Newsweek. Kennerly has covered stories in dozens of countries. He served as a contributing photographer for TIME & LIFE Magazines and contributing editor for Newsweek and POLITICO. American Photo Magazine named him “One of the 100 Most Important People in Photography,” and Washingtonian Magazine called David one of the 50 most important journalists in DC. In 2016 he covered the presidential campaign for CNN, including the cover image for their book Unprecedented.