Eddie Adams was an American photojournalist who’s interest in photography became obvious during his teenage years. Upon graduating from high school, Adams served in the US Marine Corps, witnessing the Korean War as a combat photography. Adams captured 13 wars on film throughout his career.
“His war photography moment of fame came during the Vietnam War, when he shot the famous Street Execution of a Viet Cong Prisoner. The picture shows General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a prisoner on the street of Saigon. It captures fear, desperation and the terror of war in a horrendous way. The photograph received a Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography in 1969. It also granted Adams several additional distinctions. Though it brought him fame, Adams often regretted the powerful impact of the photograph. He wrote the following in connection to the manner in which the image affected people: ‘The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them; but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths. … What the photograph didn’t say was, ‘What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American people?'”
In 1972, Adams began working for Time magazine. He freelanced, photographing numerous celebrities and even doing a series on Penthouse pets. Later, Adams produced various fashion and lifestyle-related photographs. He continued to work until his death, battling Lou-Gehrig’s disease.