|Born||March 14, 1970
New York City, New York, United States
|Died||April 20, 2011
Chris Hondros was born in New York City to immigrant Greek and German parents who were child refugees after World War II. He spent most of his childhood in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he graduated from Terry Sanford High School in 1988.
Hondros studied English literature at North Carolina State University where he also worked for the Technician, the campus newspaper. After graduating from State in 1993, Hondros moved to Athens, Ohio, and earned a Master's degree at Ohio University School of Visual Communications. He began his career at the Troy Daily News in Ohio as an intern and later chief photographer before returning to Fayetteville in 1996 to begin a career with the The Fayetteville Observer and to be close to his father who died of cancer in 2000.
Hondros left his job at The Fayetteville Observer in 1998 to return to New York and concentrate on international reporting. From his base in New York, Hondros worked in most of the world's major conflict zones since the late 1990s, including Kosovo, Angola, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Kashmir, the West Bank, Iraq, and Liberia.
Following the September 11 attacks, Hondros took photos at ground zero. Hondros also followed Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign in 2004. His work included disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
His photography was featured in the documentary film, "Liberia: A Fragile Peace." (2006)
Hondros's images from Iraq, especially a January 2005 picture series detailing the shooting of an Iraqi family by U.S. troops, were published extensively and garnered worldwide acclaim and criticism.
On January 18, 2005, an Iraqi family was traveling in a car which failed to stop at a U.S. checkpoint in Tal Afar. Thinking it was a suicide bomber, U.S. troops opened fire, killing both parents and paralyzing one of their five children sitting in the back seat. As a result of the worldwide interest in his case generated by Hondros's pictures, the boy, Rakan Hassan, was later flown to the United States for treatment in a Boston hospital, but was murdered in a bombing by insurgents shortly after his return: Boston Globe: "The end of Rakan's war".
Hondros won dozens of international awards for the images. One of his pictures of this tragedy is likely to become "one of the few photos from the Iraq war that could stand out in history" according to Liam Kennedy, a professor at University College Dublin.
In an interview, Hondros stated:
|“||Almost every soldier in Iraq has been involved in some sort of incident like that or another, I would say. Their attitude about it was grim, but it wasn’t the end of their world. It was, “Well, kind of wished they’d stopped. We fired warning shots. Damn, I don’t know why the hell they didn’t stop. What’re you doing later, you want to play Nintendo? Okay.” Just a day’s work for them. That stuff happens in Iraq a lot.||”|
Hondros's images received many awards:
- World Press Photo, Amsterdam: Honorable Mention, Spot News
- Overseas Press Club, New York: John Faber Award
- Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography: Nominated Finalist for his work in Liberia
- Pictures of the Year International Competition, Missouri School of Journalism: 3rd Place and Honourable Mention, Conflict
- World Press Photo, Amsterdam: Second Prize, Spot News
- Overseas Press Club, New York: Robert Capa Gold Medal for "exceptional courage and enterprise” in his work from Iraq
- American Photo magazine: named "Hero of Photography" for his work in Iraq
- Days Japan International Photojournalism Awards: First Place
Libya and death
It was reported on April 20, 2011, that Hondros had been fatally wounded in a mortar attack by government forces in Misrata while covering the 2011 Libyan civil war. Photojournalist Tim Hetherington was also killed in the attack, which wounded two other photographers. A source said that the group was traveling with rebel fighters. According to The New York Times, Hondros died from his injuries as a result of severe brain trauma.
- Hasty, Kim (2011-04-21). "Photojournalist Hondros killed in Libya; former Observer staffer". The Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Woolverton, Paul (2011-04-22). "Chris Hondros: The human cost of war". The Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Checkpoints test US troops' rules". BBC. 2005-03-08. Retrieved 2009-12-31.
- "The Best of Photo Journalism 2006 > Still Photography Winners > International News Picture Story 1st Place". National Press Photographers Association.
- "In pictures: Shooting in Tal Afar". BBC. January 2005. Retrieved 2009-12-31.
- Hider, James (January 21 2005). "One Night in Iraq: Chris Hondros Witnesses A Shooting After Nightfall". The Times Online (London).
- "Chris Hondros Wins OPC's Robert Capa Gold Medal Award". The Stock Photo Industry Press Release Cemetery. April 19 2006.
- "The Photographers". Getty Images.[dead link]
- "The Photographers Award Winning Work By Chris Hondros". Getty Images.[dead link]
- Hondros, Chris. "The Continuing Story". Colombia Journalism Review.
- "Face That Screamed War’s Pain Looks Back, 6 Hard Years Later". The New York Times. May 7 2011.
- "Christopher Hondros, 2003". World Press Photo. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
- The John Faber Award 2003. Overseas Press Club. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- The Pulitzer Prizes: 2004, Breaking News Photography. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- Winners' List, 61st Annual Pictures of the Year International Competition. Pictures of the Year International, Missouri School of Journalism. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- "Christopher Hondros, 2005. World Press Photo. Accessed April 20, 2011". Archive.worldpressphoto.org. 2005-01-18. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
- Robert Capa Gold Medal, 2005. Overseas Press Club. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- 2008 Nominees. National Magazine Awards, American Society of Magazine Editors. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- "IndieWire Reports "Restrepo" Director Tim Hetherington Killed In Libya".
- "Two photographers killed in Libya". CNN. April 21, 2011. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
- Chivers, C.J. (April 20, 2011). "‘Restrepo’ Director and a Photographer Killed in Libya". The New York Times (Benghazi, Libya). Retrieved April 20, 2011.
- Official website
- What the Rest of the World Watched on Inauguration Day, National Catholic Reporter
- Me and Joseph Duo: A Story from Liberia by Chris Hondros, The Digital Journalist magazine
- Saddam's Spider Hole, The Virginia Quarterly Review
- Chris Hondros: Photographer at War - slideshow by Life magazine