The NPPA has let us all know that Brian Lanker, a quintessential newspaper photojournalist (I always liked this shot), died suddenly yesterday evening, after learning only a few days ago that he had a fatal cancer.
Lanker won the Pulitzer Prize in the same year that Nick Ut won for his world famous picture of the so-called "napalm girl"—Brian's set was a sort of bookend, in that it showed a woman giving birth by the then-new Lamaze method of childbirth.
Improbably—he hadn't known the couple before photographing them for the story—the woman later became his wife, and the baby whose delivery he photographed his stepdaughter.
He is perhaps best known for his book I Dream a World : Portraits of Black Women who Changed America. Just recently out of print, it is one of the very rare photography books that have been huge bestsellers, crossing over to find fans among many people throughout our culture.
Our thoughts and condolences to all his friends, and especially to the Lanker family.
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.