The Biography of Eddie Adams
Eddie Adams was born on June.12, 1933 in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. His interest in photography became obvious during his teenage years. For some time, he had to work as a wedding photographer, an activity that was soon to turn into a professional occupation.
After graduating from high school, Adams served in the United States Marine Corps. He witnessed the Korean War as a combat photographer. During his career, Adams captured 13 wars on film.
Adams managed to build his reputation and soon after he was working for Associated Press. His war photography moment of fame came during the Vietnam War, when he shot the famous Street Execution of a Viet Cong Prisoner. The picture shows General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a prisoner on the street of Saigon. It captures fear, desperation and the terror of war in a horrendous way.
The photograph received a Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography in 1969. It also granted Adams several additional distinctions.
Though it brought him fame, Adams often regretted the powerful impact of the photograph. He wrote the following in connection to the manner in which the image affected people:
The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them; but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths. ... What the photograph didn't say was, 'What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American people?'
As an apology, Adams later contacted the family of the general. After the death of General Nguyen, Adams was reported as saying that he was a true hero, who accomplished his mission.
In 1972, Adams began working for Time magazine. He freelanced, photographing numerous celebrities and even doing a series on Penthouse pets. Later, Adams produced various fashion and lifestyle-related photographs.
Eddie Adams died on September.19, 2004 from Lou Gehrig’s disease. He worked to his very death, even after being diagnosed with the condition.