Denver Post photographer Walker wins Pulitzer |

Denver Post photographer Walker wins Pulitzer

Craig Walker, a photographer for The Denver Post, right, hugs Ian Fisher after Walker was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography in the paper's newsroom in downtown Denver on Monday, April 12, 2010. For 27 months, Walker photographed Fisher as he went from high school graduate to recruit to soldier in the series "Ian Fisher: American Soldier." (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER – Craig F. Walker, a photographer for The Denver Post, has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for feature photography.

Walker won the coveted honor for the series “Ian Fisher: American Soldier,” for which he spent 27 months following Fisher from recruitment, training, deployment to Iraq and return from combat.

The Denver Post published the series in September.

The awards were announced Monday at Columbia University in New York City. Walker’s Pulitzer, the newspaper’s sixth, is the most prestigious award in journalism.

“Thank God for Ian Fisher, he and his family, it’s their story,” Walker said shortly after he learned he won. “They were just incredible. …If they had not been that willing to share their lives the way they did, warts and all, this wouldn’t have happened.”

Walker, a photographer at the newspaper since 1998, and reporters from the newspaper gained permission from Fisher, his family, and the Army to document Fisher joining the Army during the height of the Iraqi insurgency. Walker said the project turned into a coming-of-age story.

“I’m very happy for Craig Walker. This is a project that he loved, and he stayed committed to it for over two years,” said Gregory L. Moore, editor of the Post.

Walker’s pictures showed Fisher at his high school graduation, during training, and during his time in Iraq. Fisher said pictures taken while he was at the Denver Military Processing Command, where new recruits undergo a physical examination, provided the most uncomfortable moments for him.

“He was taking pictures of me in my boxers,” said Fisher, who was with Walker on Monday celebrating the news. “It was part of the story. …It ended up working out very well.”

Fisher, now 20, remains on active duty.

Dave Philipps of The Gazette in Colorado Springs was a finalist for local reporting for stories on the spike in violence in a combat brigade returning to Fort Carson after bloody deployments to Iraq.

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