Reed has authored several books, including Beirut: City of Regrets (1988), Black in America (preface by Gordon Parks) (1997), The Lost Boys of Sudan, and Eli Reed: A Long Walk Home published (2015) (introduction by Paul Theroux) and a award winning retrospective. Numerous photographs of his have been recognized in shows and exhibitions.
He photographed the effects of poverty on America’s children for a film documentarys called Poorest in the Land of Plenty, narrated by Maya Angelou. He went on to work as a stills and specials photographer for major motion pictures. Reed has worked in such major films, as as Rosewood, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Poetic Justice, Five Heartbeats, Ghosts of Mississippi, The Jackal, and One True Thing. This includes Oscar winning films, A Beautiful Mind ((the production visual design of the film inspired by the Eli Reed 1996 book, “Black in America”, 8 Mile, and the civil rights documentary, Mighty Times, the Children’s March (2006).
Reed has received many awards and achievements including, Pulitzer Prize Nominee 1982, (1981), Harvard University Nieman Fellow (1982-83), Overseas Press Club (1983), W. Eugene Smith Grant in Documentary Photography (1992), POY Nikon World Understanding Award, (1983), Leica Medal of Excellence, (1988), Kodak World Image Award for Fine Art Photography (1992), World Press Photo award, (daily life), Visa pour L’image Festival Du Photo-Reportage Perpignan, France, (1993), Getting Out (1996), Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame International Film and Video Competition in documentary category, Global Fund Excellence in Media Award for coverage HIV in Peru Amazon (Global Health Council, Wash, D.C.). (2009), Lucie Foundation Award for Documentary Photography for his influence on photojournalism, (2011).
He lately received the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) Joseph A. Sprague Memorial Award (2020), Gordon Parks Choice of Weapons Award (2021), and the I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence (2021).
Recently retired from his position as a Clinical Professor of Photojournalism at The University of Texas in Austin since 2005. Eli is currently involved in writing and photography book projects, along with planning an exhibition in Seoul, Korea scheduled for 2022/23). He is also working on ongoing fictional feature and documentary film production projects.