"San Francisco Bay area native Paul Kitagaki Jr. has traveled the world covering natural and human-caused disasters, documenting the lives of everyday Iraqis living under Saddam Hussein, Mexico City residents digging out of a deadly earthquake, Asian factory workers laboring for pennies to produce high-end athletic shoes for the U.S. and international athletes competing for gold at nine different Olympic Games.
Kitagaki’s work has been honored with dozens of photo awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, and been nominated for Emmys. He’s been published in news outlets worldwide, including National Geographic, Time, Smithsonian Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Stern, People, Mother Jones, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and the Sacramento Bee.
His personal project, “Gambatte! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit” documents and illuminates a dark episode in our country's history, the relocation and internment of more than 120,000 ethnic Japanese Americans. A national traveling exhibition appearing at the Smithsonian and in cities throughout the country, Kitagaki has spent the last 15 years locating the families who lived through the internment camps, documenting their stories of survival and inner strength to overcome injustice, racism, and wartime hysteria.
He is married to Pulitzer-prize photographer Renée C. Byer.