Awarded to an individual who has served as an outstanding mentor, either to a specific individual or to photojournalism in general. Nominations for this award are to come from working photojournalists. The recipient of the award may have, but not need to have, any formal connection to photojournalsim.
Over the years, John Durniak was executive editor of Popular Photography magazine, picture editor at Time magazine and The New York Times, and managing editor of Look, himself an enthusiastic mentor who nurtured some of the most prominent photojournalists of the 20th Century. Durniak died in 1997.