Gerry Melendez was born in El Salvador and moved to the United States in 1980 during a civil war. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with an art studio degree and started his photographic career soon after. Twenty-plus years of assignments have taken him throughout the U.S. and abroad in Central America, India, Turkey and Albania.
In 2004 he joined the staff at The State newspaper in
Columbia, South Carolina.
Melendez is a four-time South Carolina Photographer of the Year by the South Carolina News Photographers Association. His work has been recognized by numerous state, regional and national organizations including NPPA’s Best of Photography which awarded him a third place Photographer of the Year for smaller markets in 2011.