Raghu Rai

Raghu Rai

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Raghu Rai Profile

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  • Raghu Rai

Raghu Rai Biography

Raghu Rai is an Indian photographer and photojournalist, most known for his photograph of a child of Bhopal tragedy victim being buried. Rai became a photographer in 1965 and joined The Statesman, a New Delhi publication. He left it in 1976 to become a freelance photographer. He was appointed as a young photojournalist, to Magnum Photos in 1977 by its co-founder Henri Cartier-Bresson. Raghu Rai's India: Reflections in Colour and Reflections in Black and White are the books authored by Rai. He was honoured with Padma Shri in 1972 and in 1992 he was chosen Photographer of the Year from USA. Since 1997, he has held several photo exhibitions in India as well as abroad.


Raghu Rai was born in the village of Jhang, Punjab in the year 1942. Rai became a photographer in 1965 and joined ‘The Statesman’ the following year. He left "The Statesman" in 1976 to work as picture editor for "Sunday," Kolkata. Impressed by a work exhibited in Paris in 1971, Henri Cartier-Bresson invited him to join Magnum Photos in 1977. In 1980, he joined "India Today" during its formative years where he worked as Picture Editor, Visualizer and Photographer. Till 1991, he contributed in the form of picture essays on social, political and cultural themes. His photo essays have appeared in several leading magazines and newspapers. Time, Life, GEO, The New York Times, Newsweek, The Independent and Sunday Times are among those.


Rai has specialized in extensive coverage of India and has authored 18 books till now. Raghu Rai’s Delhi, The Sikhs, Calcutta, Khajuraho, Taj Mahal, Tibet in Exile, India, and Mother Teresa are among his published books. His work on Bhopal tragedy of 1984 needs special mention. He worked on an in-depth documentary project for Greenpeace and covered the incident as a journalist for India Today.

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Updated: January 21, 2014

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