What overdosing on empathy looks like.


  • Born into a working-class family in Pennsylvania; she lost her father when she was a child and watched as her mother struggled to support her family.
  • She had always had a passion for art, but was convinced that she couldn’t make a practical career out of it.
  • Originally went to college to be a nurse; has an associate degree in nursing from Northampton Community College.
  • Her friend gave her an SLR camera so she decided to take a photography class at her community college—says, “The first time that I developed a print, that was the defining moment.”
  • She enrolled at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale to study photography—says she discovered her niche after taking a class in journalism.
  • Has worked as a staff photographer for The Miami Herald and The Washington Post; she now works mainly as a freelancer.
  • She has won the Pulitzer Prize four times—one of only four people to do so, and the only journalist to have achieved that feat.
  • Says her nursing background has made her a better photojournalist: ”It gave me the foundations of compassion and empathy…if you don’t have those things then you can’t tell someone’s story.”

By: John Adair