Born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York on March 16, 1942, Danny Lyon is seen as one of the most important American artists with his new journalism style photography (meaning that he was immersed in the situations, environments and is a subject in that which he photographs) as he used his talents during the 19th century to document social justice and various developing communities. "Raised in Kew Gardens, Queens, where his father, Ernst, an immigrant from Germany, was a doctor (one of his patients in New York was Alfred Stieglitz), Mr. Lyon ached to flee the conformity of an upper-middle-class life."
"Lyon began his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement when he hitch-hiked to Cairo, Illinois, during a summer break after his junior year at the University of Chicago. He was inspired by a speech John Lewis had given at a church on his first day in Cairo. After his speech Lewis left to go attend a sit-in, Lyon was impressed by this, Lewis was putting action behind his words. Lyon then decided to a march to a nearby segregated swimming pool, the demonstrators knelt down to pray as the pool-goers heckled them. Soon a truck came, it went through the crowd in an attempt to break it up, a young black girl was hit by the truck and Lyon knew that he wanted to be a part of the movement."
Seeger, Bob (1989). Everybody Says Freedom. New York u.a: Norton. pp. 87–100. ISBN 0393306046.