Horst Faas, a prize-winning combat photographer who changed the way photojournalists covered conflict, has died aged 79. Born in Berlin, Faas joined The Associated Press in 1956 and made his name as chief photographer for South Asia based in Saigon.
As well as covering the fighting, during his time in Saigon he also recruited new talent from among the foreign and Vietnamese freelancers, resulting in the so-called ‘Horst’s Army’ of young photojournalists. Among his top proteges was Huynh Thanh My, an actor turned photographer who in 1965 became one of four AP staffers and one of two South Vietnamese among more than 70 journalists killed in the 15-year war.
Faas took thousands of images of the Vietnam war and famously pressed controversial photographs on an often reluctant American press and public. Striking, and now famous photographs such as the small girl running down a road attempting to escape a US napalm bomb, and an image of a man being executed by a Vietnamese officer were produced by Faas’s office and were central to raising American awareness of the war and fostering anti-war sentiment.