Photojournalist Dith Pran dies

March 31, 2008

The photojournalist Dith Pran died last night in a New Jersey hospital. Pran first became known to the wider world in 1980 when the New York Times reporter Sydney Schanberg published his book The Death and Life of Dith Pran. The book was later made into the film The Killing Fields. Pran worked as a translator and a journalist with Schanberg from 1972. Schanberg says Pran saved his life and the lives of Al Rockoff and Jon Swain when they were captured by Khmer Rouge forces in Phnom Penh in 1975,

“He was maybe the smartest reporter that I ever met. He was terrific guy. I mean, he was very, very special and he was also very playful and funny when we were at our free times, and he had this smile,” Mr Schanberg said. “You’ve probably seen some pictures with his smile. He had a smile that would light up a skyscraper.” link

UPDATE: Dith Pran was buried today (April 8, 2008). Sydney Schanberg said some words during the ceremony.
UPDATE: Here’s a video report from the New York Times featuring Dith Pran on his deathbed,
[video:youtube:fBHP–a1m4A]