Horst Faas: the man who shot the Vietnam War

Many more of the photographs we know from the Vietnam War owed to Horst Faas, who died today at 79, than he ever shot.  He was a famously intrepid photographer who won two Pulitzers and David Halberstam, who was with him in Saigon as a reporter covering the war, said of Faas, “I don’t think anyone stayed longer, took more risks or showed greater devotion to his work and his colleagues. I think of him as nothing less than a genius.”  As the photo above shows — as well as the others at the Lens blog — Faas took some terrificly strong photographs.  But he also built and ran the Associated Press team in Vietnam, an army of photographers both Vietnamese and foreign that captured so many of the images that defined the war.  So it was Eddie Adams who took this photograph but it was Faas who got it seen by the world:

Likewise, this photo by Nick Ut:

Faas nearly died doing this work, being badly wounded in the field in late-1967.  He survived then but now we have lost one of our strongest connection to a war that had once seemed the landmark conflict of the second half of the twentieth century but, increasingly, has receded from memory.


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