Born on October 9, 1935, in Saint Pancras, London, United Kingdom.
He lives in Somerset, England.
Don McCullin spent his childhood in Finsbury Park, then a derelict area. He left school at the age of fourteen after the death of his father and worked at various odd jobs before being called up for two years of national service in the Royal Air Force as an assistant for aerial photography. In 1964, he produced his first war assignment for The Observer covering the civil war in Cyprus.
From 1966 on he traveled the world over for The Sunday Times Magazine, reporting from numerous conflicts and battlefields including those in the Congo and Biafra (Nigeria), Vietnam, Cambodia, Northern Ireland, El Salvador, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Kurdistan, and elsewhere, becoming one of history’s greatest war photographers. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including his acclaimed autobiography, Unreasonable Behaviour (1990), which has since been republished in many editions, Sleeping With Ghosts (1996), and 2001’s retrospective Don McCullin — all by Jonathan Cape, London.
The winner of numerous awards, including two Premier Awards from the World Press Photo in 1964 and 1977, in 1992 he became the only photojournalist to be made Commander of the British Empire (CBE). A Photo Poche book of his photographs was published the same year (n° 53, Nathan/Actes Sud). In recent years, in addition to his landscape work in Britain and India, published as Open Skies in 1989, he has focused primarily on the African continent, documenting the AIDS crisis in South Africa, Botswana and Zambia with the support of Christian Aid, and producing a book on the “lost tribes” of Ethiopia, Don McCullin in Africa (Jonathan Cape 2005).
He has been associated with Contact Press Images since 1995.
Don McCullin presented his work at the Rencontres d’Arles in 1992: Retrospective, at the Palais de l’Archevêché and in 2006: Africa: in light and shadow at the Atelier de Mécanique.