Born: September 27, 1942
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Cambodian journalist, photographer, and activist
Dith Pran was a Cambodian journalist who suffered four years of abusive treatment after the Communist Khmer Rouge forces took over his country in 1975. Pran eventually escaped and became a crusader for justice in Cambodia. His story was portrayed in the 1984 movie The Killing Fields. (wikipedia)
If you aren't familiar with his story, it's worth the time to find out. Just google his name and prepare to be humbled. Since Pran worked as a photojournalist for the New York Times and I for the Trenton Times, our paths crossed occasionally on some assignments. My jaw dropped the first time I saw him because I knew who he was, a legend, standing right there in front of me doing the same job I was. I didn't know what to say and I'm not all that outgoing anyway, but he brought me out of myself when he was around. As we would see each other again, he treated me like we were old friends. I'm grateful to have known Dith Pran. I made the above photo of him at the Veterans' Day Ceremony held at Veterans Park in Hamilton Township on November 7, 2004. May he rest in peace.