Eddie Adams was an American Photographer and Photo Journalist, especially renowned for his stellar works of art capturing celebrities, politicians and thirteen wars. In 1969, his photograph shot during the Vietnamese War, won him a Pulitzer. With rare distinctions such as serving in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War as a combat photographer, Adams was given the task of photographing the entire stretch of the Demilitarised Zone in entirety when the war ended – a task he finished in a month.
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His wide ranging photographic work has been nothing short of iconic, capturing the human face of war and projecting real narratives that were otherwise lost in the annals of history. Eddie Adams is credited with having captured a very niche set of images: which set themselves apart from the other photographs that were shot in a conflict setting. One of his most famous photographs was that of General Loan in the Vietnamese Conflict while he shot a Vietcong Revenge Squad Captain point blank in the head. The photograph won him a Pulitzer, but wound up misrepresenting General Loan as the big bad guy, while in reality, the story was quite different. The irony of the truth being presented awry made for an intriguing back story of the photograph and consequently, it remains a significant milestone in the archives of war photography.
Eddie Adams’ repertoire of photographs that go into making his body of work what it was, was donated by his widow, Alyssa Adams, to the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas at Austin. The photographic archive comprises slides, negatives, prints, audio and video material, news clips, his own notes and diaries and journals. The heritage of wartime truth that he documented through photographs has remained a prominent part of the global archives on conflict journalism. In addition to the war, he also photographed poverty in America, the lives of homeless people, the life and times of Mother Teresa, Brazil as a community of people, alternative societies, and anti-war demonstrations.