Larry Burrows

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Larry Burrows
File-larry burrows.jpg
Photo taken just before his death
Born(1926-05-29)May 29, 1926
London, United Kingdom
DiedFebruary 10, 1971(1971-02-10) (aged 44)

Larry Burrows (born Henry Frank Leslie Burrows[1] 29 May 1926 in London, died 10 February 1971 in Laos) was an English photojournalist best known for his pictures of the American involvement in the Vietnam War.


Burrows left school at 16 and took a job in Life magazine's London bureau, where he printed photographs; it was here that Burrows started to be called Larry to avoid confusion with another Henry working in the same office. Some accounts blame Burrows for melting photographer Robert Capa's D-Day negatives in the drying cabinet,[2] but in fact it was another technician, according to John G. Morris.[3]

Burrows went on to become a photographer and covered the war in Vietnam from 1962 until his death in 1971. His work is often cited as the most searing and the most consistently excellent photography from the war, and several of his pictures (“Reaching Out,” for example, featuring a wounded Marine trying to comfort a stricken comrade after a fierce firefight during Operation Prairie in October 1966) and photo essays both encompassed and defined the long, polarizing catastrophe in Vietnam.[4] One of his most famous collections, published first in LIFE magazine on 16 April 1965, entitled "One Ride with Yankee Papa 13" about a mission on a helicopter of HMM-163 on 31 March 1965.

Burrows died with fellow photojournalists Henri Huet, Kent Potter and Keisaburo Shimamoto, when their helicopter was shot down over Laos. At the time of the helicopter crash, the photographers were covering Operation Lam Son 719, a massive armoured invasion of Laos by South Vietnamese forces against the Vietnam People's Army and the Pathet Lao.

In 2002, Burrows' posthumous book Vietnam was awarded the Prix Nadar award.

On 3–4 April 2008, the scant remains of Burrows and fellow photographers Huet, Potter and Shimamoto were honoured and interred at the Newseum in Washington, D.C..


  1. ^ Pyle, Richard; Faas, Horst (2003-03-01). Lost Over Laos: A True Story of Tragedy, Mystery, and Friendship. Da Capo Press. p. 21. ISBN 9780306811968.
  2. ^ Flying Short Course: Evolving Newspapers Pushing Photojournalists For Video Archived 2008-01-22 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Morris blames it on a young developer named Dennis Banks. John G. Morris, "Get the picture, A personal history of photojournalism", Random House Inc, N-Y 1998
  4. ^ "AMERICA IN VIETNAM, 1963: DEEPER INTO WAR". Life Magazine. Retrieved 18 November 2014.

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