Eagle Scout wins 2018 Pulitzer Prize in breaking news photography

Ryan Kelly, who received a 2018 Pulitzer Prize for his chilling photo of a car plowing into a group of counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va., is an Eagle Scout.

Kelly was a staff photojournalist at The Daily Progress in Charlottesville from 2013 to 2017. He took the award-winning photo — a searing image of that day’s tragic events — on his last day at the newspaper.

But before he became an award-winning photographer, Kelly became an Eagle Scout.

He earned Scouting’s highest honor on Nov. 3, 2004, as a member of Troop 1853 of Springfield, Va., part of the National Capital Area Council.

“Ryan exemplifies all the best in our Scouts,” says John Selstrom, Troop 1853 committee chairman. “So along with our congratulations to him for his outstanding achievement, I also want to recognize the Scouters who helped Ryan learn and grow and become the professional that he is today.”

On Tuesday, Selstrom told the Scouts of Troop 1853 that one of their own had earned the top prize in journalism.

“Every day as together we deliver the promise of Scouting, we are building young men like Ryan,” Selstrom says.

More about Ryan Kelly

Kelly was Troop 1853’s senior patrol leader from November 2003 to May 2004.

After college at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va., he started a career as a photographer.

On Aug. 12, 2017, Kelly was in Charlottesville to cover the Unite the Right rally when a man drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one and injuring 19 more.

Kelly took the definitive photo of the day, but he doesn’t take all the credit. On Twitter, like a true Eagle Scout, he called it a team effort.

While he no longer works for The Daily Progress, Kelly remains active as a freelance photographer and runs social media for a brewery in Richmond, Va.


Thanks to John Selstrom and Aaron Chusid for the tip.

About Bryan Wendell 2817 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is senior editor of Boys’ Life, Scouting and Eagles’ Call magazines.