You have all heard the expression “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This statement could not be truer. Photographs are some of the most powerful forms of media and journalism in our world. The most famous example of this is Eddie Adams, an American photographer and photojournalist from Pennsylvania. He took famous portraits of celebrities and politicians and covered 13 wars. He was the winner of a Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for his famous photograph that has defined his career.
This photograph, taken on February 1st 1968, is one of the most famous illustrations of the Vietnam War and especially the Tet Offensive. However, Mr. Adams did not want to be remembered for this photograph, stating that he did not want his obituary to begin, “Eddie Adams, the photographer best known for his iconic Vietnam photograph ‘Saigon Execution.'” He said that his photograph captured only one side of the situation and has apologized to the general in the photograph for the damage it did to his honor while he was alive. After he died in 1998, Adams praised him as a hero.
Mr. Adams career is not made up of this sole photograph. He has one over 500 awards and has photographed the likes of Ronald Reagan, Fidel Castro, Clint Eastwood, Malcolm X, Bette Davis, Bill Cosby and Jerry Lewis.
This one singular photograph created a huge impact in the world of journalism and photojournalism. It is a lesson to us all that what you do and put out into the world can have a serious impact, more than what you could ever imagine. View his entire Vietnam War photo album here.