'Killing Fields' Photog Dith Dead at 65

Times photojournalist and anti-Khmer Rouge crusader had pancreatic cancer
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Mar 30, 2008 12:39 PM CDT
First lady Rosalynn Carter introduces Dith Pran at a meeting of the National Cambodia Crisis Committee, in this Tuesday, Jan. 29, 1980 file photo, at the White House.    (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Photojournalist Dith Pran, whose saga was re-created in the film The Killing Fields, has died of pancreatic cancer at 65, the New York Times reports. The Cambodian native became the Khmer Rouge's most vocal opponent after escaping in 1979, having worked in labor camps and survived on a spoonful of rice a day. He moved to New York, where he began working for the Times and against the Cambodian genocide. "I'm a one-person crusade," he once said.

Dith worked as an assistant to Sydney Schanberg in Cambodia, where he saved the Times correspondent from execution. Schanberg, who won a Pulitzer for his Cambodia work, returned to the US, but Dith didn't make it out. He eventually escaped into Thailand, and Schanberg helped him reunite Stateside with his family.