April 21, 2011

'World Press Photo Award' winner Tim Hetherington dies in Libya

Tim Hetherington, photojournalist, filmmaker, and Vanity Fair contributing photographer, was killed yesterday while covering the conflict in Misrata, Libya. Three other journalists were also hit in an R.P.G. attack, one being Getty photographer Chris Hondros (Robert Capa Gold Medal Award in 2006) who has subsequently died from his injuries, photographer Guy Martin, of the Panos Agency, who is in very serious condition; and a freelancer, Michael Brown, who is slightly wounded.

The U.K.-born, Brooklyn-based Hetherington, 40, who had dual British and American citizenship, was best known for his work in Afghanistan, much of it shot for Vanity Fair. In 2007, he won the coveted World Press Photo of the Year Award for his coverage of American soldiers in the Korengal Valley—one of four World Press prizes he received. Those assignments in Afghanistan served as the basis of the 2010 Oscar-nominated documentary Restrepo, which he directed with Vanity Fair contributor (and his longtime journalistic collaborator) Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm. The film was recognized for its decidedly apolitical approach to the war. Hetherington also created short films about the G.I.’s he encountered in the Korengal and released a book of photographs, Infidel, examining the lives of the men of a battle company of the 173rd Airborne.

Hetherington was widely respected by his peers for his bravery and camaraderie. His imaginative, even artistic, approach to photojournalistic subjects led to many honors, including a fellowship from the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts, as well as grant from the Hasselbald Foundation. He released two other films, Liberia: An Uncivil War (2004) and The Devil Came on Horseback (2007).
Tim Hetherington's 2007 World Press Photo Award winning image of an exhausted American soldier in a bunker in Afghanistan.