Pulitzer Prize winner Patrick Farrell is a renown photojournalist known mainly for his photographs of Haiti. After Haiti was rocked by storm after storm in the 2008 storm season, Patrick entered the humanitarian disaster Haiti had turned into. He took hundreds of pictures that documented the struggle Haitians had to go through during the disaster. It was his package of 19 black-and-white photographs, titled A People in Despair: Haiti’s Year Without Mercy, that won him the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography.
This isn’t the first time Patrick Farrell has documented a major event nor the first time he was recognized for doing so. Patrick has been a staff photographer at the Miami Herald since 1987; in 1993 he was part of the newspaper’s staff that won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for coverage of Hurricane Andrew. In 1992 and 1993, he was named the National Press Photographers Association’s Region 6 Newspaper Photographer of the Year.
Patrick hasn’t only documented Florida events, he has traveled across the country and world. In 1994 he covered the political and civil unrest in Haiti. In 1999, he covered the earthquake in Turkey. He even covered the Columbine High School massacre, social and political change in Cuba, and childhood poverty in the Americas. One of his most recent works saw him work with Doctors Without Borders in 2015 to document unsafe and illegal abortions in Haiti as part of the multimedia project: “Because Tomorrow Needs Her.”
Patrick Farrell was born and raised in Miami as the seventh child in a family of 12 to Dr. James and Peggie Farrell. When he was trick-or-treating on Halloween in 1971, he was shot in the right eye by a BB gun pellet, injuring his eye. He spend a week in Larkin General Hospital with both eyes bandaged shut. It was this event that changed his view of the world. He started paying closer attention to all the lights, shapes, and events going on around him. After he discovered his love for photography, Patrick destroyed a bathroom in his parent’s home when he turned it into a darkroom. He later graduated from Christopher Columbus High School in 1977, and from the University of Miami in 1981 with a bachelor’s in television and film production. As to why he became a photojournalist, he credits UM School of Communication professor Michael Carlebach as his main influence. Patrick Farrell lives in Miami, is married to former Miami Herald reporter Jodi Mailander Farrell, and has two daughters: Annie and Lucy.