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War photographer Philip Jones Griffith dies at 72


Agence France-Presse
First Posted 23:53:00 03/19/2008

Filed Under: death notices, Media, War

PARIS -- British photojournalist Philip Jones Griffiths, known for his unflinching coverage of the Vietnam war, died on Tuesday aged 72, the Magnum photo agency said.

Born in Wales in 1936, Jones Griffiths launched his career as a freelancer for Britain's Observer newspaper in 1961, covering the Algerian war in 1962 before travelling across central Africa.

In a career that took him to more than 120 countries, Jones Griffiths covered everything from Buddhism in Cambodia, drought in India, poverty in Texas or the legacy of the Gulf war in Kuwait.

"The photographer's eye was always drawn by human folly, but ... he always believed in human dignity and in people's ability to better themselves," said a statement issued in Paris by Magnum, which he chaired from 1989 to 1985.

From 1966 to 1971, Jones Griffiths reported on the Vietnam war, publishing a photojournalism book focused on the suffering of civilians, "Vietnam Inc", which helped turn US public opinion against the conflict.

For a 2003 book, "Agent Orange", he turned his camera upon the impact of the defoliant used by the US military on post-war generations in Vietnam.

"Journalism is about obliterating distances, bringing far away things closer home and impressing it on people's senses," he said in an interview earlier this year with the Independent newspaper in Britain.

"You excite your humanity every time you take a photo. Lose your humanity and you stop being able to judge, to know, to see."

Jones Griffiths' work was the subject of a US exhibition in 2005 and 2006 titled "50 years on the Frontline". He died at his home in England, Magnum said, where he had been suffering from cancer.



Copyright 2014 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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