Jeff Widener is best known for his now famous image of a lone man confronting a column of tanks in Tiananmen Square during the 1989 Beijing riots which made him a nominated finalist for the 1990 Pulitzer.
The "Tank Picture," repeatedly circulated around the globe, (except in China where it is banned) is now widely held to be one of the most recognized photos ever taken. America On Line selected it as one of the top ten most famous images of all time.
Jeff grew up in Southern California where he attended Los Angeles Pierce College and Moorpark College majoring in photojournalism. In 1974 he received the Kodak Scholastic National Photography Scholarship beating out 8000 students from across the United States. The prize included a study tour of East Africa.
In 1978 Widener started work as a newspaper photographer in California and later in Nevada and Indiana. At age 25 he accepted a position in Brussels, Belgium as a staff photographer with United Press International. His first foreign assignment was the Solidarity riots in Poland.
Through the years, he has covered assignments in over 100 countries involving civil unrest and wars to social issues. He was the first photojournalist to file digital images from the South Pole. In 1989 he was hired on as Associated Press Picture Editor for Southeast Asia where he covered major stories in the region from the Gulf War to the Olympics. Other beats included East Timor, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Burma, Syria, Jordan, India, Laos, Vietnam, Pakistan to mention a few.
Widener has received numerous awards and honors from The Overseas Press Club, Pictures Of the Year International, NPPA Best Of Photojournalism, National Headliner Award, New York Press Club, Chia Award (Sardinia) and the Scoop Award (Angiers, France) along with a number of other local and international citations.
Widener lives in Honolulu.