The world lost two of its most courageous photojournalists yesterday. Tim Hetherington -- who directed Restrepo -- and Chris Hondros were killed by a rocket propelled grenade while covering the fighting in Misrata, Libya.
Hondros was a Pew Fellow in International Journalism a couple of years after I was, and we were briefly introduced at a 2007 reunion conference of sorts. There, he was on a panel about covering the Iraq war and, as program director John Schidlovsky noted today, talked about his work there with striking humility. I remember thinking the world was fortunate to have such people documenting what was happening in its most troubled corners.
If you don't know his name, you've probably seen the images he captured, often at considerable personal risk. There was this famous sequence from Iraq. And perhaps the most iconic image from the Liberian conflict (right). And all of these from conflict zones around the world. And the final set he uploaded from Misrata yesterday, literally from the midst of the fighting.
There aren't a lot of people who - like Hondros and Hetherington - have the courage, skill, and constitution for this kind of genuinely truth-telling work. The rest of us are impoverished by their passing.
[Update, 4/23/2011: On Hondros and his last days in Libya, from his best friend.]