Lawrence High School
He began his career mixing chemicals and making engravings as a senior attending Lawrence High School in 1954. Snead went on to become a staff photographer at the Topeka Capital-Journal and then chief photographer at the Wilmington News-Journal in Delaware.
Snead won several photo contests during his stay in Delaware. He accepted a job offer from the United Press International in 1967 and become involved in its photo operations base in Saigon, Vietnam. At age 30, Snead was "just smitten" to go to Asia.
The Tet Offensive, the heaviest fighting of the Vietnam War, began after Snead had been there for three weeks. Snead said he grew in experience living in Vietnam during the war.
He transferred to Washington; D.C. three short years later and became a picture editor at National Geographic. In 1972, Snead was hired as assistant managing editor for photo at The Washington Post, where he stayed for 21 years. His career at The Washington Post took him to Eastem Europe, where he encountered some of the most tremendous circumstances of his life.
The Washington Post recognized Snead as the White House Photographer of the Year. One of Snead' s most crucial carrer moments was being a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize.
Snead has traveled around the world and obtained a large amount of valuable experience from his career. He has returned to Lawrence to once again work at the Journal World.
Dolph Simons Jr., chairman and editor of the Lawrence Journal-World, has known Snead since he began working for the Journal-World in the 1950s. The men have maintained a strong friendship throughout the years. Simons Jr. believes that honesty, accuracy, compassion and sincerity are all qualities of Snead's character. He said that Snead had a true affection for Lawrence and Kansas, and this is what has brought Snead back to his boyhood hometown.
Snead gave great advice to extend to aspiring photographers and students m the journalism field.
"The advice is to learn as much about the different facets of journalism as you can. The more that you're good at, the more valuable you are," Snead said.