Skip to content

Lyon, Danny

“Lyon, a New York native, studied history at the University of Chicago (BA, 1963) and became involved in the growing Civil Rights movement. He was self-taught as a photographer and his first images document this social struggle. It was a pattern to be repeated throughout his career — to actively live with subgroups or participate with segments of society he would document. He became a member of a Chicago motorcycle gang, The Outlaws, before producing the book, The Bikeriders in 1968. Later he spent time with construction workers, stock car racers, prison inmates, and peoples of the Third World to make his books and films. Conversations with the Dead (1971) was published with images, interviews, and writings of Texas prison inmates with whom he was allowed to visit intimately for a few months. Later work by this Jewish Caucasian has been especially empathetic with the plight of Latinos and Native Americans (he has lived in New Mexico since the early 1970s). Beginning in 1980 he has produced several autobiographical works (Knave of Hearts, 1999) and, among his films, Little Boy (1977) is a characteristic gem. Lyon remains a deeply committed artist/humanitarian who has expanded the public’s awareness of individuals at the fringes of late 20th century society.” – ICP Danny Lyon Biography

Episode: Danny Lyon, Journey West