Peter Turnley is a photojournalist known for documenting the human condition and current events. Over the past two decades, he has traveled to eighty-five countries and covered nearly every major news event of international significance. His photographs have been featured on the cover of Newsweek more than forty times. A renowned street photographer who's lived in and photographed Paris since 1978, Turnley is one of the preeminent photographers of the daily life in Paris of his generation.
Turnley and his twin brother, the photographer David C. Turnley, were the subjects of a biographical 60 Minutes piece Double Exposure, which aired during their exhibition, "In Times of War and Peace" at New York’s International Center of Photography in 1996.
Turnley first began photographing in 1972 in his hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana. With his twin brother David, he spent a year photographing the life of the inner-city, working-class McClellan Street. This work was published in 2008 by Indiana University Press. In 1975, the Office of Economic Opportunity of the State of California hired Peter Turnley to produce a photographic documentary on poverty in California.
Turnley has photographed world conflicts including the Gulf War, the Bosnia, Somalia, Rwanda, South Africa, Chechnya, Haiti, Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Iraq (2003). During the end of Cold War (1985–1991) Turnley photographed Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev more than any other Western journalist. He witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall and the revolutions in Eastern Europe in 1989, and Nelson Mandela walk out of prison after 27 years incarceration , and the ensuing end of apartheid in South Africa. Turnley was also present in New York at “Ground Zero” on Sept 11, 2001, and in New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He photographed the election and inauguration of President Barack Obama and produced a multimedia piece on this occasion for CNN.
Turnley currently lives in New York and Paris, and is represented by Corbis, which holds an archive of more than 25,000 of Turnley's images