Eugene Richards was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He took a degree in English and journalism, before he studied photography with Minor White at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1968 he joined VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and was assigned to eastern Arkansas, where he helped found a social service organization and a community newspaper, Many Voices, that reported on black political action and the violence of the Ku Klux Klan.
After publication of his first two books, Few Comforts or Surprises: The Arkansas Delta and Dorchester Days, Richards began working as a freelance magazine photographer, undertaking assignments on such diverse topics as the American family, drug addiction, river blindness, pediatric AIDS, abuses within the meatpacking industry, and aging and death in America.But Richards is perhaps best known for his later books. Exploding Into Life, which chronicles his first wife Dorothea Lynch’s struggle with breast cancer, received Nikon’s Book of the Year award. For Below The Line: Living Poor in America, his documentation of urban and rural poverty, Richards was named Photojournalist of the Year by the International Center of Photography. The Knife & Gun Club: Scenes From an Emergency Room received an Award of Excellence from the American College of Emergency Physicians.
Cocaine True, Cocaine Blue, an extensive reportorial on the effects of hard-core drug usage, received the Kraszna-Krausz Award for Photographic Innovation in Books.Many of his other projects and books have recieved numerous prices and honours.
At Dokfoto he will present his new book Red Ball of a Sun Slipping Down
See more of his work here. See his lecture Saturday February 7th.