Judy Walgren

Judy Walgren is outrageous, hilarious, and surprisingly laid-back, but when she starts talking about what she’s working on, there’s no questioning her seriousness. “The whole reason I went into photojournalism wasn’t so much because I love taking photos,” says the 36-year-old Dallasite. “It was a calling to go out and document the human condition.” Her career took off in 1987, when the UT-Austin graduate joined the staff of the Dallas Morning News . A year later, she received her first major assignment, covering the famine during the Sudanese war. “I learned how to avoid the shells, what to do if you are shelled, and how to hide whiskey if you’re going into a Muslim country—you wrap it in women’s knickers,” she says. Walgren continued to take dangerous assignments, covering wars in Somalia, Rwanda, and Bosnia, but it was her photography depicting African female genital mutilation ceremonies and Muslim wife-beating that won her team a Pulitzer prize for international reporting in 1994. Since leaving the News earlier this year, she has been working on freelance projects, photographing African tribal elders and covering the prostitution of young girls in Bombay. Despite the fact that she has been shot at and even held hostage while on assignment, her enthusiasm for her work hasn’t waned. “The assignments gave me the courage to put myself in danger,” she says. “I got totally hooked on it.”

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