Don Unrau was born in Wolf Point, Montana in 1950. After serving in the Vietnam war, he was discharged and began his studies in art and photography at the University of Colorado. Since the 1980's, Unrau's work has been primarily concerned with themes of post-war Vietnam.
His first series titled War Story, are 'extended' portraits of Viet Nam war veterans. In the margin below the portrait, Unrau allows the veteran to write any statement that concerns their relationship to that war. In 1989, War Story was shown at the Robert B. Menschel Photography Gallery in Syracuse, NY. Since then, a number of the images have been shown around the U.S.
In 1992, Unrau returned to Vietnam for the first time since the end of the war. During ten weeks of travel he was able to photograph a country in transition, and see the place that held two nations in the grip of tragedy. In 2009, Unrau self-published Spring Visits: Photographs From Viet Nam.
In 2012, Unrau again returned to Vietnam to photograph. During this visit, he was able to make portraits of Viet Cong revolutionaries whom we fought against during our war there. While the portraits reveal the former enemy's physical presence, they challenge our view of history and our idea of empathy. In 2013, The Revolutionary Moment, was published.