Every World Press Photo Winner Ever: 60 Images That Define Our World

World Press Photo Collage
The World Press Foundation's "Press Photo of the Year" is one of the most prestigious photojournalism awards in the world. World Press Photo

A picture is worth a thousand words.

A photojournalists job is to capture a moment, often in dangerous situations, that somehow says everything you need to know about a time, a place, a war, a tragedy, a celebration.

The World Press Foundation’s “Press Photo of the Year” award is one of the most prestigious photojournalism awards in the world. Since 1955, the Dutch-based organization holds an annual contest recognizing a photo that is not only visually stunning but also represents an issue or situation of journalistic importance. The 20-member jury awards prizes in eight other categories, like general news, sports and portraits. The winner receives a €10,000 euro cash prize. All of the winning photographs are assembled into a traveling exhibition that visits 45 countries and is seen by more than four million people. The photographs are published in a yearbook, available for purchase from the foundation.

The most recent winning photo, by Ronaldo Schemidt, shows a masked protester running, engulfed in flames, as he protests Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

“It’s a classical photo, but it has an instantaneous energy and dynamic,” Magdalena Herrera, director of photography at Geo France and the chair of this year’s jury, told The Washington Post. “The colors, the movement, and it’s very well composed, it has strength. I got an instantaneous emotion.”

Winners over the years have spanned a wide spectrum of issues, from war and civil unrest to terrorism and sports. Vietnam War photojournalism was regularly recognized during the 1960s and 1970s, showing images of American troops in battle, Vietnamese victims of bombings and the horrors of war. Other areas winning photos covered were the 1980s AIDS crisis, famine, the Rwandan genocide and homophobia in Russia.

"Whether entered as singles or stories, these pictures are judged in terms of their accurate, fair, and visually compelling insights about our world,” the foundation states on their website.

Winners of the World Press Foundation’s “Photo of the Year” connect the world to the stories that matter. Here is every winner ever, from 1955 until 2017.

NOTE: Many of the images featured in this collection might be disturbing to some readers.

World Press Photo of the Year 1955
A competitor tumbles off his motorcycle during the Motorcross World Championship at the Volk Mølle race course. (August 28, 1955) Mogens von Haven
World Press Photo of the Year 1956
'Spätheimkehrer': A German prisoner of war is reunited with his daughter. The child has not seen her father since she was one-year-old. This man was one of the last prisoners of war to be released by the Soviet Union since the end of World War II. (1956) Keystone Press/Helmuth Pirath
World Press Photo of the Year 1957
Dorothy Counts, the first and at the time only black student to enroll in the newly desegregated Harry Harding High School in Charlotte (NC), is mocked by protestors on her first day of school. Bystanders threw rocks and screamed at Dorothy to go back to where she came from. (April 9, 1957) The Charlotte News / The Associated Press / Douglas Martin
World Press Photo Award 1959
Miroslav Ctvrtnícek, goalkeeper of Sparta Praha, during a football match between Sparta Praha and Cervená Hvezda Bratislava in the Letná Stadium in Prague. (April, 1958) Vecernik Praha / Stanislav Tereba
World Press Photo Award 1961
Tokyo, Japan. Otoya Yamaguchi, a right-wing student, assassinates Inejiro Asanuma, Socialist Party Chairman, during his speech at the Hibiya Hall in Tokyo. (December 10, 1960) Mainichi Shimbun / Yasushi Nagao
World Press Photo Award 1962
Puerto Cabello, Venezuela. Luis María Padillo, Puerto Cabello naval base chaplain, offers last rites to a loyalist soldier, said to be either Luis Antonio Rivera Sanoja or Andrés de Jesus Garcés, mortally wounded by a sniper during a military rebellion against President Romulo Bétancourt of Venezuela. (February 6, 1962) La República / Héctor Rondón Lovera
World Press Photo of the Year 1963
Saigon, Vietnam. Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc sets himself ablaze to protest the South Vietnamese government’s persecution of Buddhists. The self-immolation of Thich Quang Duc occurred during the Buddhist crisis in Vietnam, the civilian upheaval against the predominantly Catholic government of President Ngo Dinh Diem, which was supported by the United States. Although the Buddhists constituted a majority of the Vietnamese, Catholics enjoyed special privileges under Diem’s regime. These privileges were resented by the Buddhists, who began establishing religious and secular organizations to create and activate more political and social awareness. The crisis was precipitated by the shootings of nine unarmed civilians on 8 May 1963 in Hue during a demonstration. Following this incident, street demonstrations by Buddhist monks and nuns demanding political reform and religious freedom became frequent and were violently suppressed by the government. (November 6, 1963) The Associated Press / Malcolm Browne
World Press Photo of the Year 1964
Ghaziveram, Cyprus. A Turkish woman mourns her dead husband, a victim of the Cyprus Civil War between Greek Cypriotes and Turkish Cypriotes. (March 20, 1964) The Observer / Quick / Life / Don McCullin
World Press Photo of the Year 1965
A mother and her children wade across a river to escape US bombing in Vietnam. (June 6, 1965). United Press International / Kyōichi Sawada
World Press Photo of the Year 1966
The body of a Viet Cong soldier is dragged behind an American armored vehicle en route to a burial site after the Battle of Suoi Bong Trang during the Vietnam War. (February 24, 1966) United Press International / Kyōichi Sawada
World Press Photo of the Year 1967
Vietnam. Private First Class Kerry Nelson, an American M48 tank gunner of the 3rd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, in Vietnam's 'Iron Triangle' during the Vietnam War. The squadron was tasked with securing Route 13, a strategic road north of Saigon, which connected the city with An Loc and the Cambodian border. (May, 1967) Life / Co Rentmeester