Dean Conger

Dean Conger was born August 26, 1927, in Casper, Wyoming. After nine years with the Denver Post, he joined the National Geographic as a staff photographer in 1959.  A broad range of assignments have taken him all over Europe and Asia, as well as the United States where, for a time he specialized in coverage of the space program.  He made more than thirty trips to the former  Soviet Union, photographing for the National Geographic Magazine and the Society book Journey Across Russia (1977) for which he received a citation of excellence from the Overseas Press Club and the World Understanding Award from the University of Missouri, the National Press Photographers Association, and Nikon.

Named Newspaper Photographer of the Year three times during the 1950’s and Magazine Photographer of the Year in 1962 in the Pictures of the Year competition. Conger also received the National Press Photographers Association Joseph A. Sprague Memorial Award for a lifetime of outstanding work in photojournalism in 1987.

He has been honored as a distinguished alumnus by both Casper College, Wyoming, and the University of Wyoming.  From 1967 to 1984 he was Assistant Director of Photography for National Geographic, as well as a staff photographer.

From 1984 to 1989 Conger directed Geographic’s Multi-Image, Audiovisual Services Division.  In 1989 three multi-image shows produced by Conger were recognized by the Association for Multi-Image, receiving gold, silver & bronze awards.

In 1998, Conger produced a major multi-image show on Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”.  Five hundred photographs from 25 years of travel in Russia were edited to fit the themes of Mussorgsky’s music.  Seven projectors were synched live to Mussorgsky’s music on a 10’ x 30’ screen suspended over the Music in the Mountains Orchestra, playing in Durango’s concert hall at Ft. Lewis College.  Reviewers called it “Awesome, Stunning, Beautiful, even Breath-taking”. His most recent show is “The Imagemakers”.

After 30 years with the National Geographic he retired September 1, 1989.   Conger and his wife, Lee, retired in  Durango, Colorado where they built a southwest style home – complete with a projection room and a magnificent view of the Animas Valley and La Plata mountains.  They have three grown sons, two grandsons and a granddaughter.  In 2012 they moved to Bend, Oregon, and in 2022 they moved to The Dalles, Oregon, to be closer to family.