Conflict & Justice

AP war photographer Horst Faas dies


Legendary war photojournalist and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner, Horst Faas, poses in front of his images at the International Festival of Photojournalism in Perpignan, France in Sept. 05, 2008. His daughter, Clare Faas, confirmed her father died on May 10, 2012 at the age of 79.


Jeff Pachoud

The Associated Press war photographer Horst Faas has died at the age of 79 in Munich, Germany.

Faas' career spanned half a century but he is best known for capturing the violence of the Vietnam War when he was AP's chief of photo operations in Saigon for ten years from 1962, Reuters reports.

The Guardian says the German-born photographer was responsible for "some of the most memorable pictures of the Vietnam war", which helped turn mainstream opinion against US offensive.  It cites the images of a naked little girl running down a road away from US-dropped napalm bombs and one of a man being executed by a Vietnamese officer allied to US forces as examples.

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Faas won four major awards, including a 1965 Pulitzer, for his work in Vietnam. He won a second Pulitzer in 1972 for pictures of torture and executions in Bangladesh.

In a lengthy obituary released by the Associated Press, the agency's Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll describes Faas as "one of the great talents of our age", adding "(He was) a brave photographer and a courageous editor who brought forth some of the most searing images of this century."  She also describes him as "a stupendous colleague and a warm and generous friend."

Associated Press has also released a selection of his work.

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"Horst Faas was a giant in the world of photojournalism whose extraordinary commitment to telling difficult stories was unique and remarkable," Santiago Lyon, AP's global head of photography, is quoted as saying by the BBC.

Faas is survived by his wife Ursula and his daughter Clare.