Larry Burrows


Larry Burrows (London, UK, 1926-Laos, 1971) started his career in Life magazine's London bureau, where he printed photographs. After the Second World War, in 1945, he became a photojournalist for Life and worked in Congo and the Middle-East before going to Vietnam. He arrived first in Vietnam in 1962. When the war broke out he decided to stay to cover the conflict. He died on 10 February 1971, when his helicopter was shot down over Laos. Also on board were fellow photojournalists Henri Huet, Kent Potter and Keisaburo Shimamoto, who died as well. Burrows was an extraordinary talented and brave war photographer, by whom others measured themselves.

American journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner David Halberstam, who was in Vietnam with Burrows, wrote in the book Requiem: By the Photographers Who Died in Vietnam and Indochina (1997): 'I must mention Larry Burrows in particular. To us younger men who had not yet earned reputations, he was a sainted figure. He was a truly beautiful man, modest, graceful, a star who never behaved like one. He was generous to all, a man who gave lessons to his colleagues not just on how to take photographs but, more important, on how to behave like a human being, how to be both colleague and mentor. Our experience of the star system in photography was, until we met him, not necessarily a happy one; all too often talent and ego seemed to come together in equal amounts. We were touched by Larry: How could someone so talented be so graceful?'