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Every World Press Photo Winner From 1955-2011

Every year since the World Press Association gathers in Amsterdam to pick a picture of the year. Here's every photo that's won from the past 55 years or so. Powerful stuff.


A competitor tumbles off his motorcycle during the Motorcross World Championship at the Volk Mølle race course. (Mogens von Haven)


A German World War II prisoner, released by the Soviet Union, is reunited with his daughter. The child had not seen her father since she was one-year-old. (Helmuth Pirath)


Dorothy Counts, one of the first black students to enter the newly desegregated Harry Harding High School is mocked by whites on her first day of school. (Douglas Martin)


National Football Championships between Prague and Bratislava. (Stanislav Tereba)

1959: No contest held


A right-wing student in Japan assassinates Inejiro Asanuma, Socialist Party Chairman, during his speech at the Hibiya Hall. (Yasushi Nagao)

1961: No contest held


Priest Luis Padillo offers last rites to a loyalist soldier who is mortally wounded by a sniper during military rebellion against President Bétancourt at Puerto Cabello naval base in Venezuela. (Héctor Rondón Lovera)


Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc sets himself ablaze in protest against the persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government. (Malcolm W. Browne)


A Turkish woman mourns her dead husband, a victim of the Greek-Turkish civil war. (Don McCullin)


A mother and her children wade across a river to escape US bombing. The US Air Force had evacuated their village because it was suspected of being used as a base camp by the Vietcong. (Kyoichi Sawada)


The body of a Vietcong soldier is dragged behind an American armored vehicle en route to a burial site after fierce fighting. (Kyoichi Sawada)


The commander of an M48 tankgunner of the US 7th regiment in Vietnam's 'Iron Triangle'. (Co Rentmeester)


South Vietnam national police chief Nguyen Ngoc Loan executes a suspected Viet Cong member. (Eddie Adams)


A young Catholic wears a gasmask during clashes with British troops. People had been fleeing from teargas after a night of street fighting. (Hanns-Jörg Anders)

1970: No contest held


During negotiations on the safe-conduct of a group of criminals on the run, police superintendent Gross suddenly shoots down gang leader Kurt Vicenik. The gang, who had disappeared after a bank-robbery in Cologne, re-emerged near Saarbrücken, carrying a hostage with them. A chase followed and the police and the robbers met at Baltersweiler. The two other men were captured in a wild fight. The men running away from the bullets are policemen. (Wolfgang Peter Geller)


Phan Thi Kim Phuc (center) flees with other children after South Vietnamese planes mistakenly dropped napalm on South Vietnamese troops and civilians. (Nick Ut)


Democratically elected President Salvador Allende moments away from death during military coup at Moneda presidential palace in CHile. (Orlando Lagos)


The Faces of Hunger. A mother comforts her child, both victims of drought. (Ovie Carter)


A mother and her daughter are hurled off a collapsing fire-escape in an apartment house fire in Boston. (Stanley Forman)


Palestinian refugees in district La Quarantaine. (Françoise Demulder)


Police throw tear-gas at a group of chanting residents of the Modderdam squatter camp protesting against the demolition of their homes outside Cape Town. (Leslie Hammond)


A demonstrator is engulfed in flames of the molotov cocktail he was about to throw at the police during protests against the construction of the New Tokyo International Airport. The original Narita Airport plan was unveiled in 1966. To acquire the initial land, the government had to evict protesting landowners. Violent clashes between the opponents and authorities resulted in 13 deaths, including five police officers. The new airport opened in May 1978. (Sadayuki Mikami)


A Cambodian woman cradles her child while waiting for food to be distributed at a refugee camp. (David Burnett)


A starving boy and a missionary in Uganda. (Mike Wells)


Lt. Col. Antonio Tejero Molina orders everyone to remain seated and be quiet after armed Guardia Civil soldiers stormed the Assembly Hall of the Spanish Parliament. Three hundred deputies and cabinet members were in session to vote upon the succession of premier Suarez. They were released next morning after having been held hostage for almost 18 hours; the coup was a failure. (Manuel Pérez Barriopedro)


The war in Lebanon: The aftermath of the massacre of Palestinians by Christian Phalangists in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. (Robin Moyer)


Kezban Özer (37) finds her five children buried alive after a devastating earthquake. At five o'clock in the morning she and her husband were milking the cows as their children slept. A few minutes later, 147 villages in the region were destroyed by an earthquake of magnitude 7.1 on the Richter scale; 1,336 people died. (Mustafa Bozdemir)


A child killed by the poisonous gas leak in the Union Carbide chemical plant disaster. (Pablo Bartholomew)


Omaira Sanchez (12) is trapped in the debris caused by the eruption of Nevado del Ruíz volcano. After sixty hours she eventually lost consciousness and died of a heart attack. (Frank Fournier)


Ken Meeks' (42) skin is marked with lesions caused by Aids-related Kaposi's Sarcoma. (Alon Reininger)


A mother clings to a riot policeman's shield at a polling station. Her son was one of thousands of demonstrators arrested because they tried to prove that the presidential election on December 15, which was won by the government candidate, had been rigged. (Anthony Suau)


Boris Abgarzian grieves for his 17-year-old son, victim of the Armenian earthquake. (David Turnley)


A demonstrator confronts a line of People's Liberation Army tanks during protests for democratic reform. (Charlie Cole)


Family and neighbors mourn the death of Elshani Nashim (27), killed during a protest against the Yugoslavian government's decision to abolish the autonomy of Kosovo. (Georges Merillon)


US Sergeant Ken Kozakiewicz (23), gives vent to his grief as he learns that the body bag at his feet contains the remains of his friend Andy Alaniz. 'Friendly fire' claimed Alaniz's life and injured Kozakiewicz. On the last day of the Gulf War they were taken away from the war zone by a MASH unit evacuation helicopter. (David Turnley)


A mother carries her dead child to the grave, after wrapping it in a shroud according to local custom. A bad drought coupled with the effects of civil war caused a terrible famine in Somalia which claimed the lives of between one and two million people over a period of two years, more than 200 a day in the worst affected areas. The international airlift of relief supplies which started in July was hampered by heavily armed gangs of clansmen who looted food storage centers and slowed down the distribution of the supplies by aid organizations. (James Nachtwey)


Boys raise toy guns in a gesture of defiance. The Palestinian uprising, which began in December 1987, strengthened the Arab population in their determination to fight the occupying force. In March Israel closed its border with Gaza, causing a massive rise in unemployment. With more than 800,000 people contained in the Israeli-patrolled, eight-km-wide strip of land, bloodshed increased sharply. The peace agreement signed in Washington on September 13 promised limited authority for the Gaza Strip and a withdrawal of the Israeli army. (Larry Towell)


A Hutu man at a Red Cross hospital, his face mutilated by the Hutu 'Interahamwe' militia, who suspected him of sympathizing with the Tutsi rebels. (James Nachtwey)


A bus on the road leading to Grozny during fighting between Chechen independence fighters and Russian troops. The civil war which erupted when President Yeltsin sent troops to the rebellious province in December 1994 was still dragging on months later. When the Chechen fighters fled Grozny, the capital, where the war had claimed a horrendous human and material toll, Russian troops pursued them into the countryside to the south and east. (Lucian Perkins)

Landmine victims in Kuito, a town where many people were killed and traumatized during the civil war. (Francesco Zizola)


A woman cries outside the Zmirli Hospital, where the dead and wounded were taken after a massacre in Bentalha. (Hocine)


A woman is comforted by relatives and friends at the funeral of her husband. The man was a soldier with the ethnic Albanian rebels of the Kosovo Liberation Army, fighting for independence from Serbia. He had been shot the previous day while on patrol. (Dayna Smith)


A man walks the streets in one of the largest gathering points for ethnic Albanian refugees fleeing violence in Kosovo. (Claus Bjørn Larsen)


The mother of a Mexican immigrant family makes piñatas to support herself and her children. The family numbers among the millions of 'uncounted' Americans, people who for one reason or another have been missed by the national census and so don't exist in population records. (Lara Jo Regan)


The body of a one-year-old boy who died of dehydration is prepared for burial at Jalozai refugee camp. The child's family, originally from North Afghanistan, had sought refuge in Pakistan from political instability and the consequences of drought. The family gave the photographer permission to attend as they washed and wrapped his body in a white funeral shroud, according to Muslim tradition. In the overcrowded Jalozai camp, 80,000 refugees from Afghanistan endured squalid conditions. (Erik Refner)


A boy holds his dead father's trousers as he squats beside the spot where his father is to be buried, surrounded by soldiers and villagers digging graves for victims of an earthquake in Armenia. (Eric Grigorian)


An Iraqi man comforts his four-year-old son at a holding center for prisoners of war, in the base camp of the US Army 101st Airborne Division near An Najaf. The boy had become terrified when, according to orders, his father was hooded and handcuffed. A soldier later severed the plastic handcuffs so that the man could comfort his child. Hoods were placed over detainees' heads because they were quicker to apply than blindfolds. The military said the bags were used to disorient prisoners and protect their identities. It is not known what happened to the man or the boy. (Jean-Marc Bouju)


A woman mourns a relative killed in the tsunami. On December 26, a 9.3 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, triggered a series of deadly waves that traveled across the Indian Ocean, wreaking havoc in nine Asian countries, and causing fatalities as far away as Somalia and Tanzania. (Arko Datta)


The fingers of malnourished Alassa Galisou (1) are pressed against the lips of his mother Fatou Ousseini at an emergency feeding center. One of the worst droughts in recent times, together with a particularly heavy plague of locusts that had destroyed the previous year's harvest, left millions of people severely short of food. (Finbarr O'Reilly)


Young Lebanese drive down a street in Haret Hreik, a bombed neighborhood in southern Beirut. (Spencer Platt)


A soldier of Second Platoon, Battle Company of the Second Battalion of the US 503rd Infantry Regiment sinks onto an embankment in the Restrepo bunker at the end of the day. (Tim Hetherington)


Detective Robert Kole of the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office enters a home, following mortgage foreclosure and eviction. He needs to check that the owners have vacated the premises, and that no weapons have been left lying around. (Anthony Suau)


Women shout their dissent from a Tehran rooftop on 24 June, following Iran's disputed presidential election. (Pietro Masturzo)


Bibi Aisha, an 18-year-old woman from Oruzgan province in Afghanistan, fled back to her family home from her husband's house, complaining of violent treatment. The Taliban arrived one night, demanding Bibi be handed over to face justice. After a Taliban commander pronounced his verdict, Bibi's brother-in-law held her down and her husband sliced off her ears and then cut off her nose. Bibi was abandoned, but later rescued by aid workers and the U.S. military. (Jodi Bieber)


A veiled woman holds a wounded relative "inside a mosque used as a field hospital by demonstrators against the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, during clashes in Sanaa, Yemen. (Samuel Aranda)