Photography community mourns death of NPR photojournalist David Gilkey in Afghanistan

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The photography world is mourning the death Sunday of David Gilkey, an award-winning NPR photojournalist who has been covering ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. Gilkey, 50, and his interpreter, Zabihullah Tamanna, 38, were killed in Afghanistan when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the Humvee they were traveling in.

Precise details on the apparent ambush are still unclear, but according to NPR, Gilkey and Tamanna were traveling with a U.S. Army convoy through Afghanistan’s Helmand Province when their vehicle was struck by an RPG believed to be fired by the Taliban.

Gilkey’s and Tamanna’s remains were returned to Camp Shorab, where an honor guard of “dozens and dozens” of U.S. soldiers stood at attention and saluted the journalists’ remains as they entered camp, according to NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman, who was traveling in the same convoy as Gilkey and Tamanna during the attack.

Gilkey’s legacy will continue to live on through the incredible works he captured during his career. From wars in Afghanistan to the famine in Somalia, Gilkey covered the conflicts and challenges of humans around the world.

Gilkey kick-started his career as a photojournalist for the Detroit Free Press and continued to capture the world through his own eyes for a number of other publications. His work brought in awards from around the world, including “a George Polk Award in 2010, a national News and Documentary Emmy in 2007, and dozens of distinctions from the White House News Photographers Association, including 2011 Still Photographer of the Year,” according to NPR.

Below is an NPR documentary titled “NPR in Gaza, A Photographer’s Journal,” wherein Gilkey shares a slideshow of images and narrates his experiences from the month he spent covering the conflict between forces in Israel and Gaza in 2009.

NPR’s Ariel Zambelich shared a heartfelt memorial honoring the legacy Gilkey has left behind.


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