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Photojournalism: Eddie Adams

Eddie Adams in Vietnam, February 1966. di_05310

Eddie Adams began his photography career as a high school student in Kensington, Pa. He was a Marine combat photographer during the Korean War, and in 1962, he joined the Associated Press (AP). After 10 years, Adams left the AP for Time magazine and freelance work. In 1976, he rejoined the AP as the first and only photographer to hold the title of special correspondent. From 1980 until his death in 2004, he was a photographer for Parade magazine, which featured more than 350 of his photos on its covers.

While he was on assignment for the AP, Adams carried his camera through 150 operations in Vietnam. He also covered wars in Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Cyprus, Portugal, Ireland, Lebanon and Kuwait. "Boat of No Smiles," his series on the Vietnamese boat people, influenced the United States to admit 200,000 Vietnamese refugees at the end of the war.

Measuring 200 linear feet in size, the Eddie Adams Photographic Archive documents Adams's career and includes "Saigon Execution," his Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of General Loan executing a Vietnamese prisoner in 1968. "Saigon Execution" is widely considered to be one of the most influential photographs taken during the Vietnam war. (Read more in "The Pulitzer Eddie Adams Didn't Want" by Donald R. Winslow, LENS blog, The New York Times, April 19, 2011.) In addition to substantive coverage of the Vietnam War, the collection includes his in-depth features on poverty in America, the homeless, Mother Teresa, Brazil, alternative society, anti-war demonstrations and riots. The collection also includes his intimate portraits of such high-profile figures as Ronald Reagan, Fidel Castro, Malcolm X, Clint Eastwood, Bette Davis, Bill Cosby and Jerry Lewis.

Adams was awarded more than 500 photojournalism awards during his lifetime, including the George Polk Award for News Photography in 1968, 1977 and 1978, the Robert Capa Gold Medal in 1977 and numerous awards from such organizations as World Press Photo, the National Press Photographers Association, Sigma Delta Chi and the Overseas Press Club.

Finding aid for the Eddie Adams Photographic Archive
Eddie Adams Gallery

View images from the Eddie Adams Photographic Archive
Photojournalism (Collection Strength)
News Media History (Collection Strength)

  Jacqueline Kennedy with Cardinal O’Conner. di_05288    Chinese Army. di_05298    Fidel Castro. di_05302    South Vietnamese officer executes a Viet Cong prisoner. di_05291