Jack Gruber is one of five staff photographers at USA TODAY, the nation’s second largest newspaper.
After passing his driver license test at sixteen, Jack walked into the offices of the Greenville (Ohio) Daily Advocate, a small hometown newspaper with a circulation of just 7,000 readers and declared that he wanted to be a photographer. Holding back laughter, the managing editor tossed the high school sophomore a film canister telling him to go into the darkroom and process the exposed roll of black and white film. If he could manage that, they would talk. Clueless, but able to read the processing directions taped on the wall, Gruber managed to not destroy the film while spooling it on a reel and processing it correctly.
That was his first job interview and the start of Jack Gruber’s career as a photojournalist.
After graduating from the Ohio University School of Visual Communication as the program’s Outstanding Graduate and winner of the William Randolph Hearst National Photojournalism Championship in 1989 , Jack worked as a staff photographer at the Flint Journal until 1994, moved to the Detroit News for four years and then worked at the Commercial Appeal in Memphis before joining in 2000 the staff at USA TODAY based in San Francisco until leaving the Bay Area for Northern Virginia and D.C. in 2008.
A career spanning 25 years in visual storytelling, Gruber has traveled the world covering events in 25-plus countries including the past 7 Olympic games and dozens of trips into war zones including Afghanistan and Iraq. One of his most harrowing experiences was riding out Hurricane Katrina in the former Holiday Inn “On The Beach” hotel in Gulfport, Mississippi. That hotel is no longer on the beach.
Gruber proposed to his wife Amy on the 50-yard line of the Rose Bowl during the 2002 NCAA National Championship football game (Miami 37-Nebraska 14). They currently reside in Falls Church, Virginia with their daughter Maddie and son Wade.