Pulitzer Prizes Recognize Previously Anonymous Photo Winner

December 7, 2006

The Pulitzer Prize Board announced today that it will amend its records and award the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography to Jahangir Razmi, an Iranian photographer.

Razmi, whose picture of a 1979 firing squad in Iran was published anonymously around the world, will be invited to receive his award at the May 21 luncheon at Columbia University next year when the 2007 Pulitzer Prize winners will be honored.

Razmi’s identity was revealed, with his consent, in a Wall Street Journal article by Joshua Prager on Dec. 2. Other pictures of the execution taken by Razmi were also published by the newspaper.

A Pulitzer Board committee, after its review of the Prager story and the photographic evidence and its further investigation of the matter, concluded that Razmi was clearly the photographer.

“When we made an anonymous award for the first time in our history, we had hoped that the name would emerge,” said Sig Gissler, administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes. “We are very pleased that, after 26 years, we can close the gap and honor a worthy recipient for an iconic image.”

Razmi will receive a certificate of award and a cash prize of $10,000, which is the current value of the award.

When the photograph was first published in August of 1979 in an Iranian newspaper, the editor withheld Razmi’s identity because he was concerned for the photographer’s safety, the Wall Street Journal story reported.

The picture, with the photographer unnamed, was subsequently circulated by United Press International.

The 2007 Pulitzer Prizes will be announced on April 16. Columbia administers the prizes after their determination by the Pulitzer Board.