Malcolm Browne, 1931-2012
August 28, 2012 7:24 AM Subscribe
posted by Rangeboy (18 comments total)
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, the war correspondent who took one of the most iconic and disturbing photographs
of the Vietnam conflict, has died
. He was 81.
Browne was working as a reporter for the Associated Press in Saigon in 1963 when his office received word that something "very important" would happen at a street intersection the next day. When Browne arrived at the appointed time, he saw Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc
douse himself with jet fuel and light himself ablaze
in a protest against the U.S.-backed government of South Vietnam. Browne, the only Western journalist present
, took pictures of the immolation.
Browne's image was published around the globe and for many served as the first warning that things in South Vietnam were worse than either Saigon or Washington would admit. Browne's reporting was often criticized by American officials
, and at one contentious press conference an Army officer asked Browne, "why don't you get on the team?"
Despite (or because of) the controversial nature of his reporting, Browne (with David Halberstam) won the Pulitzer Prize
in 1964 for his coverage of Vietnam. He later wrote a memoir
, Muddy Boots and Red Socks
, in which he reflected on his career, dispensed advice for aspiring journalists, and discussed his familial connection to Oscar Wilde.