Wednesday, January 26, 2005

David Leeson (1957 - 2022) 2004 Pulitzer Prize winner

David Leeson was born in Abilene, Texas on October 18, 1957. He is known for covering major conflicts throughout the world and advancing the use of video as a means of storytelling. 

 He has been a senior staff photographer at The Dallas Morning News since 1984. Prior to DMN, he was a photojournalist at The Times-Picayune/The States-Item in New Orleans (1982-84) and the Abilene Reporter News (1977-82).

 His assignments have taken him to more than 60 countries and 11 conflict zones in 20 years. His conflict coverage includes Iraq (1991 and 2004), Angola, Bosnia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, South Africa, Sudan, Turkey and Colombia’s drug wars.

 Leeson won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004 for his coverage of the invasion of Iraq. Leeson was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1985 for his photo coverage of apartheid in South Africa and in 1994 for an image of a family evacuating floodwaters in southeast Texas.

 He has won two Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards for Outstanding Coverage of the Problems of the Disadvantaged. In 1986 he lived on the streets of Dallas with the homeless for two months.

 In 1994 he covered the civil war in Angola. He also worked for 14 months on an essay about death row in the United States.

 Leeson began shooting video for The Dallas Morning News in 2000. It made him one of the first staff photographers in the nation to shoot video for a newspaper on a full-time basis. Since then he has completed more than 70 short features and seven documentaries. 

These works have won him numerous awards in film and television including a national Edward R. Murrow award, National Headliners award and a regional Emmy award for best television documentary. He was a finalist for best short film at the USA Film Festival in 2004.

 Leeson has five children and is married to Kim Ritzenthaler who is also a photojournalist at The Dallas Morning News. To see more of Leeson's work visit and 

 Please also see interview Part A and Part B


Marie said...

Mark, That was an extraordinary interview. I've just now had the time to sit down to read and absorb both parts of Leeson's interview. I especially related and agreed with him on his advice about small town coverage to rural wanna-bes. For example, I know that I'm never gonna be a big time photographer, but I also know that in my small community, I've had a tremendous impact on a couple of 'ordinary' men. That's good enough for me. Please explain to David that I ask broad questions because it gives the responder greater freedom of interpretation. And, although I don't comment freely on either your or Fay's blog, I have enjoyed and learned so much by reading your insights. Thank goodness for blogs! Take care.

Mark M. Hancock said...

Thanks Marie,
I explained you were a pro and David understood the question. Both Fay and I thank you for visiting both our blogs.