Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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David Douglas Duncan


It is a bit difficult to consider one, absolute “best” in a career like Duncan’s. After all, the man has produced two dozen books (with more coming), countless articles, and hundreds of thousands of images in the 60+ years of his professional life. Certainly he has earned his position as one of this century’s greatest photojournalists.

Photo by Pete Smith

And yet, throughout it all, one can find that the Hemingwayesque heart of the youthful adventurer is still abeat in his breast. In 1957 he wrote to a friend, “It’s very simple . . . this banging around with a camera and typewriter as a ‘business’ is just one helluva lot of fun.” It is no coincidence that his previous autobiography, Yankee Nomad, and its later amplification, Photo Nomad, share the same descriptive noun.

Photo by Tech. Sgt. Corkran


Photographer unknown

Perhaps the sum total of the successful photojournalist is found in the journey – the miles traveled, the friends made, the people depicted, the stories written, the images created, the ideas championed and the souls touched. DDD has let his gypsy heart carry him through many miles and years – and now that his work has found a home at the Ransom Center, the record of his odyssey will endure permanently.

– Roy Flukinger
Research Curator in Photography

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