Danny Lyon was born in 1942 in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Kew Gardens, Queens. He studied history at the University of Chicago, and graduated with a B.A. in 1963. Lyon is best-known for his images of the Civil Rights Movement, outlaw motorcyclists, and prisoners in Texas penitentiaries.
Lyon received the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship for photography in 1969, and in film making in 1979.