World Press Photo Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Founded in 1955, the organization is known for holding an annual press photography contest.
The vote for Press Photo of the Year is taken during the World Press Photo Awards. The creator of the winning entry receives €10,000 along with “the most prestigious and coveted award in photojournalism.”
The main prize is given to the image that “… is not only the photojournalistic encapsulation of the year, but represents an issue, situation or event of great journalistic importance, and does so in a way that demonstrates an outstanding level of visual perception and creativity.”
List of Press Photos Of The Year (1955-2020):
1955 | Motorcycle Racing
On 28 August 1955, at Volk Mølle Racetrack in Assentoft, Denmark, a motorcyclist crashes during a competition. Wold Press Photo of the Year 1955.
1956 | Coming Home From The War
A German World War II prisoner is released by the Soviet Union and reunited with his 12-year-old daughter in West Germany, who has not seen him since infancy. World Press Photo of the Year 1996.
1957 | Racial Segregation in the United States
Accompanied by violence and harassment, Dorothy Counts becomes one of the first African American students at Harry Harding High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. World Press Photo of the Year 1957.
1959 | Football
During a football game between the teams Sparta Praha and Červená Hviezda Bratislava, Sparta’s goalkeeper Miroslav Čtvrtníček stands on the football field in pouring rain. World Press Photo of the Year 1959.
1961 | Assassination
On 12 October 1960, the 17-year-old extreme right-wing student Otoya Yamaguchi kills the socialist politician Inejiro Asanuma with a sword during a speech in Tokyo’s Hibiya Hall. World Press Photo of the Year 1961.
1962 | El Porteñazo Uprising in VenezuelaDuring the El Porteñazo military rebellion, a dying soldier clings to a priest with sniper fire all around them. World Press Photo of the Year 1962.
1963 | Suppression of Buddhists in Vietnam
The Vietnamese monk Thich Quang Duc sets himself ablaze in protest against the persecution of Buddhists by the government of President Ngo Dinh Diem. World Press Photo of the Year 1963.
1964 | Cyprus Conflict
A Turkish woman mourns her dead husband, victim of the Greek–Turkish civil war. World Press Photo of the Year 1964.
1965 | Vietnam War
A mother and her children wade through a river in Loc Thuong in the South Vietnamese province of Binh Dinh to escape US bombing. World Press Photo of the Year 1965.
1966 | Vietnam War
On 24 February 1966, American troops drag the body of a Viet Cong fighter behind their M113 Armored Personnel Carrier for burial, after he was killed in a fierce night attack by several Viet Cong battalions against Australian forces during the Battle of Long Tan on 18 August 1966. World Press Photo of the Year 1966.
1967 | Vietnam War
The commander of an M48 Patton looks through his lens. This was the first colour photograph to win the award. World Press Photo of the Year 1967.
1968 | Vietnam War
On 1 February 1968, the South Vietnamese police chief Nguyễn Ngọc Loan summarily executes Viet Cong prisoner Nguyễn Văn Lém on a street in Saigon with a bullet to the head. World Press Photo of the Year 1968.
1969 | The Troubles
An Irish Catholic wearing a gas mask stands in front of a wall with the graffiti we want peace, moments before teargas is thrown by British troops. World Press Photo of the Year 1969.
1972 | Bank Robbery in Saarbrücken
After a bank robbery in Saarbrücken, a shootout takes place between police and the bank robbers. World Press Photo of the Year 1972.
1973 | Vietnam War
The young Phan Thị Kim Phúc and other children flee with severe burns caused by napalm, mistakenly dropped by South Vietnamese planes. World Press Photo of the Year 1973.
1974 | Coup in Chile
On 11 September 1973, president Salvador Allende appears shortly before his death in the presidential palace La Moneda during General Pinochet’s military coup. Lagos’s identity as the photographer was not revealed until February 2007, a month after his death. World Press Photo of the Year 1974.
1975 | Sahel Famine, Niger
A small child suffers during a drought in Niger. World Press Photo of the Year 1975.
1976 | Fire Escape Collapse
During a fire in a Boston apartment building, the fire escape collapses and a woman falls down with her goddaughter. The woman died at the scene of impact. World Press Photo of the Year 1976. World Press Photo of the Year 1976.
1977 | Lebanese Civil War
In January 1976, a group of Palestinian refugees flees civil war in Beirut. World Press Photo of the Year 1977.
1978 | Apartheid
The South African police tear-gas a group of demonstrators in Modderdam, near Cape Town. World Press Photo of the Year 1978.
1979 | Narita International Airport
After years of protests by the public against the construction of Tokyo Narita Airport, it is ready to open when on 26 March 1978 serious clashes break out between demonstrators and the police. World Press Photo of the Year 1979.
1980 | Fall of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia
In November 1979, in a refugee camp in Sa Keo near the Thai–Cambodian border, a woman holds her child in her arms. World Press Photo of the Year 1980.
1981 | Famine in Karamoja, Uganda
In April 1980, a white missionary in northeastern Uganda holds the comparatively tiny hand of a starving African boy. World Press Photo of the Year 1981.
1982 | Barriopedro23-F Coup Attempt in Madrid
On 23 February 1981 Lieutenant-Colonel Antonio Tejero speaks with a gun in his hand before the Spanish Congress of Deputies, holding hostage the government and MPs. World Press Photo of the Year 1982.
1983 | 1982 Lebanon War
On 18 September 1982, Palestinian corpses lie in the street in the aftermath of the Sabra and Shatila massacre, when Phalangist Maronite Christian militias killed Palestinian refugees. World Press Photo of the Year 1983.
1984 | Earthquake in Turkey
On 30 October 1983, following a devastating earthquake in the vicinity of Erzurum and Kars, Kezban Özer finds her five children buried alive. World Press Photo of the Year 1984.
1985 | Bhopal Disaster
The body of a child, killed in a chemical accident at the plant of US chemical company Union Carbide Corporation, is buried. World Press Photo of the Year 1985.
1986 | Omayra Sánchez
Sánchez, a victim of the Armero volcanic disaster, died after being trapped in a mud hole for 60 hours. World Press Photo of the Year 1986.
1987 | AIDS
American AIDS patient Ken Meeks sits in a wheelchair. On his arms are numerous lesions caused by Kaposi’s sarcoma. World Press Photo of the Year 1987.
1988 | Election in South Korea
On 18 December 1987, a desperate mother in Kuro, South Korea leans against a riot policeman’s shield and begs for mercy for her son, arrested during a demonstration. After the November election there were protests against the government, accused of electoral fraud. World Press Photo of the Year 1988.
1989 | Earthquake in Armenia
In Leninakan, Boris Abgarzian grieves for his 17-year-old son, a victim of the Armenian earthquake. World Press Photo of the Year 1989.
1990 | Tiananmen Square Massacre
A protester, later dubbed Tank Man, stops a group of People’s Liberation Army battle tanks during the massacre in Tiananmen, Beijing. World Press Photo of the Year 1990.
1991 | Kosovo Conflict
The family of Nashim Elshani grieves around his deathbed; he was killed while protesting for Kosovar autonomy. World Press Photo of the Year 1991.
1992 | Gulf War
US Sergeant Ken Kozakiewicz mourns the death of fellow soldier Andy Alaniz, killed by friendly fire. World Press Photo of the Year 1992.
1993 | Famine in Somalia
A Somali mother lifts up the body of her child, killed by malnutrition. World Press Photo of the Year 1993.
1994 | Palestinian Territories
Palestinian children raise their toy guns in the air. World Press Photo of the Year 1994.
1995 | Rwandan Genocide
Hutu man mutilated by the Hutu Interahamwe militia, who suspected him of sympathizing with the Tutsi rebels. World Press Photo of the Year 1996.
1996 | First Chechen War
A boy peers out of a refugee-packed bus fleeing fighting near Shali, Chechnya and heading for Grozny. World Press Photo of the Year 1996.
1997 | Angolan Civil War
Young land mine victims play in the Angolan city of Kuito. World Press Photo of the Year 1997.
1998 | Algerian Civil War
A woman mourns the victims of a massacre in Bentalha, Algeria. World Press Photo of the Year 1998.
1999 | Kosovo Conflict
Relatives and friends comfort the widow of a KLA fighter, shot dead while on patrol the previous day. World Press Photo of the Year 1999.
2000 | Kosovo War
A wounded Kosovar Albanian refugee walks the streets of Kukës, Albania. World Press Photo of the Year 2000.
2001 | Immigration to the United States
A Mexican immigrant works in order to feed her children. World Press Photo of the Year 2001.
2002 | Refugee Disaster in Afghanistan
In the Jalozai refugee camp, the body of an Afghan boy is prepared for burial. World Press Photo of the Year 2002.
2003 | Earthquake in Iran
A boy holds the trousers of his dead father, killed in the 22 June 2002 earthquake. World Press Photo of the Year 2003.
2004 | Iraq War
An Iraqi prisoner of war with a hood over his head comforts his son at a holding centre. World Press Photo of the Year 2004.
2005 | Indian Ocean Earthquake
Two days after the tsunami, a desperate Indian woman mourns a relative killed in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu. World Press Photo of the Year 2005.
2006 | Niger Food Crisis
A mother and her child wait for food in an emergency center in Tahoua, Niger. World Press Photo of the Year 2006.
2007 | Lebanon War
Five young Lebanese ride in a convertible through the rubble of a bombed South Beirut. World Press Photo of the Year 2007.
2008 | Afghanistan War
An exhausted American soldier leans against a wall and keeps his eyes covered. World Press Photo of the Year 2008.
2009 | Subprime Mortgage Crisis
An armed officer moves through a home following residents’ eviction as a result of mortgage foreclosure. World Press Photo of the Year 2009.
2010 | 2009 Iranian Presidential Election
An Iranian woman shouting from a rooftop in Tehran in protest against the result of Iranian presidential elections held in 2009. World Press Photo of the Year 2010.
2011 | Taliban Treatment of Women
Bibi Aisha, 18, was disfigured as retribution for fleeing her husband’s house in Oruzgan province, in the center of Afghanistan. At the age of 12, Aisha and her younger sister had been given to the family of a Taliban fighter under a Pashtun tribal custom for settling disputes. World Press Photo of the Year 2011.
2012 | Protests in Yemen, Arab Spring
A woman holds a wounded relative in her arms, inside a mosque used as a field hospital by demonstrators against the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, during clashes in Sanaa, Yemen on 15 October 2011. World Press Photo of the Year 2012.
2013 | Victims of Operation Pillar of Defense
Grieving men carry to their funerals two-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and her three-year-old brother Muhammad, killed by an Israeli missile strike in Gaza City that killed their father, Fouad, and critically injured their mother. Taken 20 November 2012. World Press Photo of the Year 2013.
2014 | African Migrants
Migrants on the shore of Djibouti City raise their cell phones in an attempt to capture an inexpensive signal from neighboring Somalia. World Press Photo of the Year 2014.
2015 | Homophobia in Russia
The photo shows a gay couple during an intimate moment, reminding the beholder that life for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people is becoming increasingly difficult in Russia. They are Jonathan Jacques Louis, 21, and Alexander Semyonov, 25. World Press Photo of the Year 2015.
2016 | European Migrant Crisis
Migrants crossing the border from Serbia into Hungary. A nocturnal image showing a man passing a baby through a barbed wire fence on the Serbia-Hungary border, namely between Horgoš (Serbia) and Röszke (Hungary). World Press Photo of the Year 2016.
2017 | Assassination of Andrei Karlov
The photo shows police officer Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş standing next to Andrei Karlov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, moments after he shot him in the back. Altıntaş shot Karlov to protest Russia’s involvement in the Syrian Civil War. World Press Photo of the Year 2017.
2018 | Crisis in Venezuela
José Salazar, 28, catches fire amid violent clashes with riot police during a protest against president Nicolás Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela. Salazar was set alight when the gas tank of a motorbike exploded. He survived the incident with first and second-degree burns. President Maduro had announced plans to revise Venezuela’s democratic system by forming a constituent assembly to replace the opposition-led National Assembly. World Press Photo of the Year 2018.
2019 | Immigration Policy of Donald Trump
A Honduran toddler cries as she and her mother are taken into custody by US border officials in McAllen, Texas. World Press Photo of the Year 2019.
2020 | Sudanese coup d’état
The photo shows a young man reciting protest poems during a nightly power cut in Khartoum on June 19, 2019. He is surrounded by numerous people who illuminate him with their mobile phones and chant slogans for the restoration of civilian rule. In a time of violence and conflict, the jury chairman deliberately chose a photo that symbolises hope and does not depict war and violence. World Press Photo of the Year 2020.