CAMILO JOSE VERGARA (b. 1944, Santiago, Chile) has documented America’s disenfranchised and marginalized urban communities for over four decades. Vergara came to the US in the 1960s from Chile to study at Notre Dame University. During his graduate studies in sociology at Columbia University, Vergara developed his interest in the relationship between environment and society. He has published numerous books, including Silent Cities: The Evolution of the American Cemetery (1989), The New American Ghetto (1995), American Ruins (1999), Twin Towers Remembered (2001), Unexpected Chicagoland (2002), Subway Memories (2004), and How the Other Half Worships (2005). His photographs have been exhibited internationally at such institutions as the National Building Museum, the Getty Research Institute and J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. In 2002 he was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant. In 2013, Vergara became the first photographer to receive the National Humanities Medal, presented to him by President Barack Obama at the White House.