For her body of work and humanitarian efforts, Barbara has received dozens of personal commendations including the world's most prestigious environmental honor for lifetime achievement - the United Nations Environment Programme Sasakawa Prize. Usually reserved for scientists, she is the only member of the media to be named a Sasakawa Laureate. Barbara used the award to establish the Barbara Pyle Foundation.
Hired by Ted Turner in 1980 to create the Turner Environment Division, her role was broad yet strategic. For 20 years, Barbara served as Corporate Vice President of Environmental Policy at the Turner Broadcasting System (TBS), setting the company's environmental broadcast agenda and branding TBS as the environmental network. As Cable News Network's (CNN) Environment Editor, Barbara introduced and oversaw environmental coverage, including the original Earth Matters, which premiered on CNN in 1981.
Among the first environmental corporate executives, Barbara championed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policies and initiatives company-wide setting the standards for energy efficiency, recycling and carpooling with her department's award-winning Clean Air Commute program.
With Ted Turner, Barbara created the animated action adventure series Captain Planet and the Planeteers, overseeing production of 113 episodes as Executive Producer. This groundbreaking environmental series quickly rose to number one in Nielsen ratings. Broadcast in over 100 countries to both popular and critical acclaim, this classic eco-toon has won dozens of awards maintaining a dedicated international fan base. To reach the next generation of Planeteers, it is now available streaming online at the Mother Nature Network (MNN).
By creating strategic alliances with UN agencies and other organizations, Barbara produced and directed over 50 films, winning over 100 industry awards and eight Emmy nominations. Her films on sustainable development issues including the environment, climate change, empowerment of women, poverty eradication, and population stabilization were the centerpieces of media campaigns that she produced for the corresponding United Nations Summits. These award-winning documentaries, featuring real people with inspirational solutions to complex issues, were broadcast worldwide. Barbara holds the copyright and distribution rights to this extensive film library and continues to make it available to media and advocacy groups.
Barbara extended her work to reach and educate young people by creating the Captain Planet Foundation (CPF). The CPF funds hands-on environmental projects for children. For ten years, Barbara served as Chairman of the Board for CPF and currently co-chairs CPF's Brand Extension Committee, responsible for marketing and brand management. As an Advisory Board member for Mother Nature Network (MNN), the premier online environmental news channel, Barbara provides subject-matter expertise and consulting on brand positioning and international partnerships for Captain Planet and MNN.
Beyond her production and humanitarian work, Barbara is a popular and sought after speaker and executive consultant who advises organizations and corporations on their environmental policies. With her extensive Executive Board experience, Barbara is frequently invited to participate in global think tanks on sustainable development. The empowerment of women and native peoples'rights continue to be the focus of Barbara's personal activism.
As an acclaimed photographer, Barbara's work has been featured on the covers of TIME Magazine as well as in dozens of books and periodicals. Her private collection includes exclusive photography of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band on their historic 1975 Born to Run Tour and an impressive portfolio of work from her lifelong travels around the world.
Barbara graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Baccalaureate from Tulane University's Newcomb College where she was named Outstanding Student of Philosophyand a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. She studied abroad at King's College, London, England. In 1992, Newcomb College honored her as Alumnae of the Year. She went on to earn her Master's Degree in Philosophy and Logic from New York University, meeting all the requirements for her Doctorate, less dissertation. Barbara was born in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.
For the past 25 years, photojournalist and filmmaker Barbara Pyle has journeyed the world to capture the human spirit. Cast your eyes on the people whose individual stories and triumphs inspired the PEOPLE COUNT series by clicking here. Please note these are high quality images and as such may take significant time to display.