Forman studied photography at the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in Boston, 1965-1966. After graduation, he was a cameraman for a political campaign before joining the Boston Herald (which became the Boston Herald American in 1973 and reverted to Boston Herald in 1983) as a photo lab technician. He was later promoted to staff photographer.
Forman won his first two Pulitzer Prizes consecutively, the first photographer to do so. In 1976, he won in the category of "Spot News Photography" for his sequence of photographs Fire Escape Collapse showing a young woman and a two-year-old girl falling from a collapsed balcony during a local fire. The next year, he was co-winner in the same category for The Soiling of Old Glory, a photograph depicting black lawyer Ted Landsmark being assaulted by a man wielding a flagpole as a weapon during the height of anti-busing unrest in Boston. Forman's third Pulitzer Prize came in 1979 when the photography staff of the Boston Herald American won in the "Feature Photography" category for its coverage of the blizzard of 1978, although Forman was on crutches following an Achilles tendon injury during the blizzard, and so did not take any of the photographs which led to the award.
Forman was named a Nieman Fellow in 1980, the same year in which he was awarded the Joseph A. Sprague Memorial Award by the National Press Photographers Association. He has worked as a cameraman at Boston station WCVB-TV since 1983.
- Masur, Louis (2008). The Soiling of Old Glory: The Story of a Photograph that Shocked America. New York: Bloomsbury Press. ISBN 978-1-59691-600-5.
- "1979 Winners". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- "Alumni Fellows (1980)". Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- Fischer & Fischer, Complete Biographical Encyclopedia of Pulitzer Prize Winners 1917-2000, K.G. Saur, 2000.