‘Horst was one of the greatest talents of our age, a brave photographer and a courageous editor who brought forth some of the most searing images of this century’
- Associated Press Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll
As a renowned photojournalist, Horst Faas was responsible for bringing images to global news stories. He was born in Berlin in 1933, and so conflict was never too far from Faas.
In 1960, Faas began his front-line reporting career and travelled to the Congo and Algeria. In 1962 he was reassigned to Vietnam to document the chaotic war that was developing.
It was here that his talent, mixed with sensitivity, took flight. His photos shocked the world, but brought a great deal of compassion to audiences thousands of miles from Vietnam. He received the Robert Capa award from the Overseas Press Club, to which he responded his aim was to ‘record the suffering, the emotions and the sacrifices of both Americans and Vietnamese’.
His colleague, New York Times correspondent David Halberstam, stayed with him while in Vietnam and celebrated his courage and commitment:
Faas’s coverage of Vietnam won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1965 (he would win a second in 1972 for pictures of torture and executions in Bangladesh).
His keen eye was not just remarkable behind the camera. Faas was responsible for pushing through controversial images to the press in the hopes of sharing the suffering and emotions from conflicts.
His ‘extraordinary commitment to telling difficult stories was unique and remarkable,’ described Associated Press Vice President Santiago Lyon.
Faas extended his editing skills to develop ‘Horst’s army’, a group of young photographers who he supplied cameras to and sent them out with instructions to ‘come back with good pictures’.
His contribution to the industry will be remembered by many. Faas was a man who took action, and literally broke boundaries that he was faced with.