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Howard Chapnick Edit Profile

journalist , photographer , writer

Howard Chapnick was an American editor, photo editor and a longterm leader of Black Star photo agency.


Mr. Chapnick was born in New York, United States, on February 13, 1922.


Howard Chapnick graduated from New York University.


Mr. Chapnick worked as a photojournalist and writer. Howard Chapnick gained prominence as the president of Black Star Publishing Co., an agency that provided worldwide photographic coverage to book publishers, as well as magazines such as Look and Life. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, he joined the staff at Black Star.

In 1964, he became the company’s president and owner, remaining in that capacity until his death. In addition, Mr. Chapnick taught workshops at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism and wrote a monthly column for Popular Photography. Among his achievements were the Sprague Award for his contribution to education and the Kenneth P. McLaughlin Award for professionalism in the field of photography, both from the National Press Photographers Association. He is credited as the editor of several books such as The Illustrated Leaves of Grass and The Illustrated World of Thoreau. His works include The Truth Needs No Ally: Inside Photojournalism and Night Train at Wiscasset.


  • Howard Chapnick was a principal founder of the W. Eugene Smith competition and Memorial Fund, which awards grants for projects in humanist photography. After his death in 1996, the Fund established in his memory a grant to encourage and support leadership in fields ancillary to photojournalism.