Angus McDougall

Angus W. McDougall '38

1988 Distinguished Alumnus Award

Angus W. “Mac” McDougall '38 was a legendary force in photojournalism, editing and education. He was an innovator in the use of high-speed strobe technology and in using multiple pictures to tell stories. He won several awards for his trendsetting work and went on to lead a long career teaching photojournalism at the Missouri School of Journalism.

As a high school senior in 1934, at the height of the Great Depression, Angus faced the prospect of trying to find a job after graduation. Money was scarce but he won a debate scholarship that enabled him to attend Carroll where he majored in English. His first job following graduation from Carroll was as a high school English teacher, debate and drama coach in Door County, Wis. Angus, who had always enjoyed photography, could rarely afford to indulge in this hobby. But after submitting one of his first works to the Milwaukee Journal, a layout on the cranberry bogs of Wisconsin Rapids, the acceptance of his photos caused him to reevaluate his career path.

He went on to work for the Milwaukee Journal in its Sunday Magazine where he was recognized in 1954 with the coveted Photographer of the Year Award.  Angus then moved to Chicago to become associate director and photographer for International Harvester for the company’s internal and external magazines. In 1961, he earned the National Picture Editor of the Year Award for his work there.  

McDougall was at the top of his field, but budget cuts by International Harvester left him without a job. Undaunted, during this time, he wrote Visual Impact in Print, considered by many professionals the definitive text on photo editing. In 1972, he went on to head the photojournalism program at the University of Missouri where he preached a comprehensive approach to his students, believing they needed to be adept at all aspects of journalism: visual reporting, writing, design and management.  

He went on to be recognized with the prestigious Srague Memorial Award, the highest honor in the field of journalism given by the National Press Photographers Association; and the Robert H. Dumke Award, given by the Wisconsin News Photographers Association.  

After his retirement in 1983, he continued to consult widely and advised hundreds of his protégés throughout the industry. McDougall died in August 2009 at the age of 92.

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