Photojournalist Michel Du Cille Passes Away In Liberia

December 12, 2014  |  

The Washington Post has announced that their Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Michel Du Cille died on Thursday of a heart attack. The prestigious 58-year-old photojournalist was said to have collapsed after a hike during an assignment in Liberia. Du Cille was documenting the Ebola outbreak in West Africa; he was sent to the hospital unconscious and pronounced dead. The Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron said of Du Cille’s death:

“Michel had returned to Liberia on Tuesday after a four-week break that included showing his photographs at the Addis Foto Fest in Ethiopia. We are all heartbroken. We have lost a beloved colleague and one of the world’s most accomplished photographers. Our thoughts and prayers are with Michel’s wife and fellow Post photographer Nikki Kahn, and his two children. Michel died at 58 doing the work he loved. He was completely devoted to the story of Ebola, and he was determined to stay on the story despite its risks. That is the sort of courage and passion he displayed throughout his career.”

Du Cille earned three Pulitzer Prizes in the photography category while reporting for the Miami Herald and the Washington Post. He covered an investigative series on the treatment of veterans at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Du Cille also covered the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone in the 1990s.

Ten years later, he covered the poverty-stricken citizens in Sudan and Afghanistan. He was promoted as the Washington Post’s director of photography in 2007 and much of his catalog of work revolved around conflict and human resilience reports The Huffington Post. When the outbreak of Ebola became more prevalent, Mr. Du Cille reported:  “It is profoundly difficult not to be a feeling human being while covering the Ebola crisis. Sometimes, the harshness of a gruesome scene simply cannot be sanitized. . . . But I believe that the world must see the horrible and dehumanizing effects of Ebola.”

May he rest in peace.

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