By Douglas Martin, The New York Times
Dith Pran, a photojournalist for The New York Times whose gruesome ordeal in the killing fields of Cambodia was re-created in a 1984 movie that gave him an eminence he tenaciously used to press for his people’s rights, died in New Brunswick, N.J., on Sunday. He was 65 and lived in Woodbridge, N.J.
The cause was pancreatic cancer, which had spread, said his friend Sydney H. Schanberg.
Mr. Dith saw his country descend into a living hell as he scraped and scrambled to survive the barbarous revolutionary regime of the Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979, when as many as two million Cambodians—a third of the population—were killed, experts estimate. Mr. Dith survived through nimbleness, guile and sheer desperation...
READ ON at nytimes.com
Featured Comment by Jim Metzger: "I had the immense pleasure of meeting Mr. Dith not once but twice.
"I was covering the 'Blessing of the Animals' at St. Johns Cathedral in N.Y.C. for the ASPCA. No real credentials, I was just a volunteer. As the animals exited the church at the end of the service, a hand reached down from the official photographers viewing platform and Dith Pran pulled me up to join the 'professionals.' As far as he was concerned, if you carried a camera, you deserved an opportunity to shoot with everyone else. The whole incident lasted just a few minutes; I was able to express my thanks and admiration at what he had endured and accomplished in his life.
"Several years later I was part of a large demonstration with the ACLU at N.Y. City Hall. Not photographing, just participating. Dith Pran was covering it for the New York Times. Amazingly he remembered me and stopped to talk about my photography career.
"What a humble and inspirational human being. I 'knew' him for just a few moments but he has left a deep and lasting impression on me.
"Pran, you are missed but not forgotten. I will try to do better."