Philip Jones Griffiths in Vietnam, 1968
Philip Jones Griffiths – one of the Phnom Penh Post’s best friends over the
last 16 years and a dear friend of Cambodia – passed away on March 18 at his
home in London after a long battle with cancer. He was 72.
Philip was one of the giants in the news photography
industry, gaining recognition during his years in Vietnam in the 1960s, particularly
with the publication of his controversial book Vietnam, Inc. in 1971
which depicted the scale of civilian casualties during that conflict.
He later went on to become president of Magnum photos
and most recently published a book about the effects of Agent Orange on both
Vietnamese and Americans.
I met Philip in the early days of the Post back
in 1992 and he would always make a point of stopping by the office during all
of his numerous visits to the Kingdom, a country he often told me was his
favorite in the world.
He was regularly crisscrossing the globe on a variety
of photo shoots, but whenever his work brought him to Asia he would try to take
a break and spend a quiet week in Phnom
Penh where he would set up camp in La Paillotte Hotel
near the central market.
He generously offered his support and encouragement to
the paper, free use of his photos when he could, and free use of his photos
when he couldn’t under his Celtic alter ego Mr Nark O’Lepsy.
He was a great storyteller with a refined Welsh wit
and a chemist’s eye for detail.
by his two daughters Fanny and Katherine, Philip will be sadly missed and
fondly remembered by all of his friends and family.
Philip receives the Lifetime Acheivement Award at the Lucie Awards ceremony in 2007 in New York.