Nick Ut


Nick Ut
Nick Ut

Taken June 8, 1972, this photograph earned Ut the Pulitzer prize, and Kim Phuc, center, a great deal of attention for many years. (© Nick Ut/The Associated Press)
Born March 29, 1951 (1951-03-29) (age 60)
Long An, French Indochina
Occupation Photojournalism
Other names Nick Ut
Notable credit(s) Pulitzer Prize-winner

Huỳnh Công Út, known professionally as Nick Ut, (born March 29, 1951) is a photographer for the Associated Press (AP) who works out of Los Angeles. His best known photo is the Pulitzer Prize-winning picture of Phan Thị Kim Phúc, who was photographed as a naked 9-year-old girl running toward the camera to flee a South Vietnamese napalm attack on the Trảng Bàng village during the Vietnam War.[1]

Contents

Biography

Born in Long An, French Indochina, Ut began to take photographs for the Associated Press when he was 16, just after his older brother Huynh Thanh My, another AP photographer, was killed in Vietnam. Ut himself was wounded three times in the war. Ut has since worked for the Associated Press in Tokyo, South Korea, and Hanoi and still maintains contact with Kim Phuc, who now resides in Canada.

Before delivering his film with the Kim Phúc photo, he took her to the hospital. The publication of the photo was delayed due to the AP bureau's debate about transmitting a naked girl's photo over the wire:

...an editor at the AP rejected the photo of Kim Phuc running down the road without clothing because it showed frontal nudity. Pictures of nudes of all ages and sexes, and especially frontal views were an absolute no-no at the Associated Press in 1972...Horst argued by telex with the New York head-office that an exception must be made, with the compromise that no close-up of the girl Kim Phuc alone would be transmitted. The New York photo editor, Hal Buell, agreed that the news value of the photograph overrode any reservations about nudity.
 
— Nick Ut[2]

Nixon connection

Audio tapes of then-president Richard Nixon in conversation with his chief of staff, H. R. Haldeman, show that Nixon doubted the veracity of the photograph, musing whether it may have been "fixed."[3] Following the release of this tape, Ut commented:

"Even though it has become one of the most memorable images of the twentieth century, President Nixon once doubted the authenticity of my photograph when he saw it in the papers on June 12, 1972.... The picture for me and unquestionably for many others could not have been more real. The photo was as authentic as the Vietnam war itself. The horror of the Vietnam war recorded by me did not have to be fixed. That terrified little girl is still alive today and has become an eloquent testimony to the authenticity of that photo. That moment thirty years ago will be one Kim Phuc and I will never forget. It has ultimately changed both our lives"
 
— Nick Ut[4]

Family and later career

Ut is a United States citizen and is married with two children. He lives in Los Angeles, and remains an AP photographer. His photos of a crying Paris Hilton in the back seat of a Los Angeles County Sheriff's cruiser on June 8, 2007 were published worldwide; however, Ut was photographing Hilton alongside photographer Karl Larsen. Two photographs emerged; the more famous photo of Hilton was credited to Ut despite being Larsen's photo.[5]

References

External links


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