Always a Panther: Alumnus Finds Passion through Camera Lens

When Tom Fox arrived at Duncanville High School during his junior year, he was looking to finish high school and move on to college. Fox had moved around with his dad’s corporate job, and he wasn’t sure he would like his new hometown.

Tom’s parents signed him up for band and to keep stats for the boys basketball team. The head coach at that time was Phil McNeely, whom Tom remembers as being well-respected by his team.

“We had a good relationship,” Tom said.  “Every once in a while he’d have me call The Dallas Morning News to give them the update on our team. They would sometimes end up quoting me and putting coach’s name behind it.”

Those memories now seem kind of ironic to Tom, because the newspaper he called so many times during high school eventually became his employer.

Tom started college with a plan to become a graphic artist, but a friend asked him to help take photographs for The Shorthorn, The University of Texas at Arlington’s newspaper.

“When I saw that first print come up in in the developer, I was hooked,” Tom said. “I could accomplish more in the camera that was my vision than I could with a paint brush and pencil.”

Tom Fox’s 30-year career has taken him from staff photographer for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times to photo editor/chief photographer for The Arlington Morning News to his current photographer position at the Dallas Morning News.

Just last year, Tom submitted a portfolio and won the prestigious National Headliners Best of Show for photography.

In 2006, Tom was part of a team of photographers at The Dallas Morning News who won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography for coverage of Hurricane Katrina.

Tom most recently visited Duncanville High School while shooting photos for a series of medical stories. He reminisced about how much the building had changed since he graduated, and he spotted photos that marked his era as a member of the Duncanville band’s percussion section.

Across north Texas and sometimes around the country, Tom travels in pursuit of that next great photo. He believes the key to his success is his artistic eye.

“It’s my creative outlet. I see things a little differently than most people,” Tom said.