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Horst Faas, AP combat photographer, dies at 79

May 11, 2012 • National News


FILE – In this Jan. 26, 1961 file photo, scores of eager hands reach towards the Congolese official who distributes small rations of dried fish and palm oil to people at the hospital in Miabi, South Kasai, Congo. Faas, a prize-winning combat photographer who carved out new standards for covering war with a camera and became one of the world’s legendary photojournalists in nearly half a century with The Associated Press, died Thursday May 10, 2012. He was 79. (AP Photo/Horst Faas, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — As chief of photo operations for The Associated Press in Saigon for a decade beginning in 1962, Horst Faas didn’t just cover the fighting — he also recruited and trained new talent from among foreign and Vietnamese freelancers.

The result was “Horst’s army” of young photographers, who fanned out with Faas-supplied cameras and film and stern orders to “come back with good pictures.”

He and his editors chose the best and put together a steady flow of telling photos — South Vietnam’s soldiers fighting and its civilians struggling to survive amid the maelstrom.

Faas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning combat photographer who carved out new standards for covering war with a camera and became one of the world’s legendary photojournalists in nearly half a century with the AP, died Thursday in Munich, said his daughter, Clare Faas. He was 79.

A native of Germany who joined the U.S.-based news cooperative there in 1956, Faas photographed wars, revolutions, the Olympic Games and events in between.

But he was best known for covering Vietnam, where he was severely wounded in 1967 and won four major photo awards including the first of his two Pulitzers.

“Horst was one of the great talents of our age, a brave photographer and a courageous editor who brought forth some of the most searing images of this century,” said AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll. “He was a stupendous colleague and a warm and generous friend.”

Among his top proteges was Huynh Thanh My, an actor turned photographer who in 1965 became one of four AP staffers and one of two South Vietnamese among more than 70 journalists Login to read more

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