Photographer Jones Griffiths Dies at 72

LONDON (AP) -- Philip Jones Griffiths, a photojournalist who spent years traveling across Vietnam to capture the effects of the war on its people, died Wednesday. He was 72.

Jones Griffiths, a former president of the Magnum photo agency, died of cancer at his London home, said the agency's commercial director, Rhiannon Davies.

Jones Griffiths was perhaps best known for his book "Vietnam Inc." - described as one of the most detailed studies of any conflict.

In one of the book's most haunting photos, he captured the image of a naked, young boy cowering and covering his ears to drown out the sound of a passing U.S. helicopter. He wrote that the unnamed boy went mad after witnessing his mother killed by a helicopter gunship.

"If anybody in Washington had read that book, we wouldn't have had these wars in Iraq or Afghanistan," linguist and author Noam Chomsky said of "Vietnam Inc."

Jones Griffiths was born in Rhuddlan, Wales, and studied pharmacy in Liverpool. His career as a photojournalist began with a part-time job for Britain's Guardian newspaper. In 1961, he began shooting full time as a freelancer for The Observer newspaper.

He shot his first war photos in Algeria in 1962 before moving to Central Africa. He eventually ended up in Asia and joined Magnum as an associate member in 1966, beginning five years documenting the Vietnam war.

He covered the 1973 Yom Kippur war and then worked in Cambodia from 1973 to 1975.

Jones Griffiths moved to New York in 1980 to become Magnum's president, a post he held for five years.

"Philip enriched all our lives with his courage, his empathy, his passion, his wit and his wisdom; and for many he gave to photojournalism its moral soul," Magnum President Stuart Franklin said. "He died as he wanted so passionately that we should live - in peace."

Jones Griffiths is survived by two daughters.

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