Boston Globe photographer Craig F. Walker was a finalist for a 2019 Pulitzer Prize in the feature photography category.
The Pulitzer committee cited Walker for “superb photography and sophisticated visual storytelling that brought understanding to the story of a young boy living with a complex developmental disability.”
Walker’s pictures accompanied a story, “Raising Connor,” about Connor Biscan, whom reporter Liz Kowalczyk described as “a puzzle his family and caregivers have worked long and hard to solve, a boy who lives at the intersection of autism and mental illness.”
“It isn’t so much a rare place — as many as half of autistic children suffer from mental health problems — but it can be a deeply baffling one. The overlap between these afflictions is hard to untangle; diagnosis and treatment can be very difficult. And a health care system meant to help can instead be frustrating, even harsh,” Kowalczyk wrote.
Walker is a 30-year veteran photojournalist who has already won two Pulitzer Prizes for feature photography. Raised in Pennsylvania, he went to the Rhode Island School of Photography and began his career at the Marlborough Enterprise and the Berkshire Eagle in Massachusetts.
He joined the Denver Post in 1998, winning Pulitzers in 2010 and 2012. He joined the Globe in 2015.
“What makes Craig special is his commitment and, really, his relentlessness. When he gets into a story, he leaves no stone unturned. He is very passionate about social issues and is driven to embed and stay as long as necessary to tell a story completely and accurately.” said Globe director of photography Bill Greene.
Walker got the news while he was out covering the scene at the Heartbreak Hill section of the Boston Marathon course.
“It’s an honor to be included,” he said by cellphone.
“Ultimately, I hope it brings more attention to the struggles that families like Connor and Roberta [his mother] deal with,” he said. “You can’t tell this kind of story, you can’t make those kinds of pictures unless the family is totally open. They were just wonderful. They’re wonderful people. They opened up their door and let Liz and me in. It was a great experience, a really special experience, to work on that story.”