Ovie Carter

Ovie Carter (Indianola, Mississippi 1946) studied at the Ray Vogue School of Photography in Chicago using the G.I. Bill, after a spending a year in the US Air Force (1966-1967). After completing the course in 1969, Carter was hired by the Chicago Tribune, initiallyas a lab assistant, where he learned the day-to-day operations of the newspaper. After four months he became a general assignment photographer. Carter spent most of his career covering poor neighborhoods in Chicago and pioneered the concept of photographic editorials at The Tribune. One of the first projects Carter initiated was a photo-essay on drug addiction in 1970. This story ran on the editorial page, an unprecedented occurrence at the paper. In 1974, Carter won the top prize in the World Press Photo Contest for a photograph from ‘The Faces of Hunger' series, which documented hunger in Africa and India. The same year, he won the Overseas Press Club of America Award for the series. In 1975, together with Tribune reporter William Mullen, Carter was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for the series of articles ‘The Faces of Hunger’ - making Carter the third African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize for photography. Carter was twice named Photographer of the Year by the Illinois Press Photographers Association, named 1984 Chicago Press Photographer of the Year, received another World Press Photo award in the category General Pictures in 1980, and is a five-time winner of the Chicago Tribune's Edward Scott Beck Award. In 1986 and 1989 he won the Excellence Award for photography from the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) ‘for outstanding coverage of the black condition.’ In 1992, sociologist Mitch Duneier and Carter published the book Slim's Table: Race, Respectability, and Masculinity. The two paired up again to publish Sidewalk in 2000. Upon retirement from the Tribune in 2004, the Chicago NABJ honored Ovie Carter with its Legends in Their Own Time award.