Horst Faas Death: Legendary Vietnam War Photographer Dies at 79

Horst Faas, a Pulitzer prize-winning combat photographer who forever changed the way photojournalists covered conflict, died Thursday in Munich, Germany. He was 79.

Faas, a native of Germany, made his name with Associated Press serving as the agency’s top photographer from 1962 to 1974.

“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.”

Best known for capturing “the realness” of the Vietnam war, where he was severely wounded by a rocket-propelled grenade in 1967, Faas won four major photo awards over the span of his life including two Pulitzer prizes.

As well as taking memorable pictures himself, Faas also recruited and trained new talent from among foreign and Vietnamese freelancers.

MSNBC writes that his efforts led to what was known as “Horst’s army” of young photographers, a group that fanned out with Faas-supplied cameras and film and stern orders to “come back with good pictures.”

Among Faas’ proteges was Huynh Cong “Nick” Ut, who won a Pulitzer prize in 1972 for his famous photo of a young Vietnamese girl fleeing after a napalm attack.

In 1976, Faas relocated to London as AP’s senior photo editor for Europe, until he retired from the news agency in 2004. He later turned his training skills into a series of international photojournalism symposiums.

Faas also helped to organize reunions of the wartime Saigon press corps, and was attending a combination of those events when he became ill in Hanoi on May 4 2005. His health deteriorated in late 2008. Hospitalized in February for treatment of skin problems, he also underwent gastric surgery.

In memory of Horst Faas‘ life, take a look at some of his most famous and emotion-stirring Vietnam War photographs below:

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