Pete Souza is a freelance photographer in the Washington, D.C. area and Professor Emeritus of Visual Communication at Ohio University. Souza was the Chief Official White House Photographer for President Obama and the Director of the White House photo office.
His new book, "Obama: An Intimate Portrait," was published by Little, Brown & Company on November 7, 2017, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.
Previously Souza worked as an Assistant Professor of Photojournalism at Ohio University, the national photographer for the Chicago Tribune based in their Washington bureau, a freelancer for National Geographic, and Official White House Photographer for President Reagan.
His book, "The Rise of Barack Obama," was published in July 2008 and includes exclusive photographs of the Senator Obama's rise to power. The book was on the New York Times bestseller list for five weeks.
In addition to the national political scene, Souza has covered stories around the world. After 9/11, he was among the first journalists to cover the fall of Kabul, Afghanistan, after crossing the Hindu Kush mountains by horseback in three feet of snow.
As a freelancer, Souza photographed two stories on assignment for National Geographic Magazine and three photo essays for Life Magazine. His photographs have also been published in many other magazines and newspapers around the world including on the covers of Life, Fortune, Newsweek, and U.S. News & World Report.
In 1992, Souza produced and published "Unguarded Moments: Behind-the-Scenes Photographs of President Reagan," a coffee-table book based on his 5 1/2 years in the White House. Former Sen. Howard Baker Jr. said in his introduction to the book that Souza recorded "some of the most intimate, honest and humanizing scenes of the presidency I've ever seen." A updated book, "Images of Greatness: An Intimate Look at the Presidency of Ronald Reagan," was published in June 2004 by Triumph Books. Souza was also the official photographer for the June 2004 funeral of President Reagan.
In 1996, Souza published a documentary book entitled, "Plebe Summer at the U.S. Naval Academy". The book chronicles one company of incoming midshipmen through the six-week indoctrination period of Plebe Summer.
Souza has won numerous photojournalism awards including several times in the prestigious Pictures of the Year annual competition, the NPPA's Best of Photojournalism, and the White House News Photographers Association's yearly contest.
He has lectured many times on his photography including at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Harvard University, Boston University, Ohio University, the University of Kansas, Western Kentucky University, Kansas State University, the Newseum, Facebook, Atlanta Celebrates Photography, Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, Truman Library Institute andAdobe Max. He has appeared on the CBS Sunday Morning, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, ABC 20-20, Dateline NBC, Nightline, Charlie Rose, CNN Special Reports, Face The Nation, Fox News Sunday, and the NPR shows Fresh Air, Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, 1A and Here and Now.
Souza has had solo exhibits of his photographs at the Leica Gallery in NYC, Kansas State University, Fermilab, the U.S. Naval Academy, the Navy Museum, The Kennedys Museum in Berlin, Cortona, Italy, the University of North Carolina, Boston University, Ohio University and the National Press Club in Washington. His photographs have also been part of group exhibits at the National Archives, Smithsonian Museum of American History, Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Newseum, and the 92nd Street Y in New York City.
Although his Wikipedia page states that he once played cello with Yo Yo Ma and was a potential draft choice for the Boston Red Sox, those are just falsehoods perpertrated by the haters. But it is true that Souza will have sang vocals for one song on Brandi Carlile's forthcoming record, "by the way, I forgive you."
Souza is a native of South Dartmouth, Mass. He graduated cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in public communication from Boston University and received his master's degree in journalism and mass communication from Kansas State University. He lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife and pet tortoise, Charlotte.