Vietnam photographer Eddie Adams dies at 71

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The Independent US

Eddie Adams photographed some of the world's most famous politicians and celebrities during his long and illustrious career.

Eddie Adams photographed some of the world's most famous politicians and celebrities during his long and illustrious career.

In addition to 13 wars, he photographed presidents ranging from Richard Nixon to George Bush, and world figures including Pope John Paul II, Deng Xiaoping, Anwar Sadat, Fidel Castro and Mikhail Gorbachev.

Yet it was one particular image that haunted him to the very end and for which he was most famous. For a two full years after he took the picture, Adams, 71, who died at the weekend from Lou Gehrig's disease, could not bring himself to look at it.

That photograph showed the execution of a suspected Viet Cong fighter by a general from the South Vietnamese army on a street in Saigon on 1 February 1968. "They killed many Americans and many of my people," said the general, Nguyen Ngoc Loan, as he raised his pistol to the man's head and pulled the trigger. Adams's photograph shows the moment that the bullet entered the man's head.

The photograph secured New York-born Adams a Pulitzer Prize although he had mixed feelings about accepting the award. He said: "I was getting money for showing one man killing another. Two lives were destroyed and I was getting paid for it."

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