Chris Hondros

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Chris Hondros
BornMarch 14, 1970
New York City, New York, United States
DiedApril 20, 2011(2011-04-20) (aged 41)
Cause of deathMortar attack by pro-Gaddafi government forces

Chris Hondros (March 14, 1970 – April 20, 2011) was an American war photographer.[1] Hondros was a finalist twice for a Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography.


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.[2]

Hondros studied English literature at North Carolina State University where he also worked for the Technician, the campus newspaper.[3] In 1991, Hondros submitted his portfolio and was invited to attend the Eddie Adams Workshop.[4] After graduating from State in 1993, Hondros moved to Athens, Ohio, and earned a master's degree at Ohio University School of Visual Communications.[2] 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 Fayetteville Observer and to be close to his father who died of cancer in 2000.[2][3]

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.[3]

Hondros was awarded the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Photojournalism Grant in 1999.[5] In 2001, Hondros was selected for the Pew Fellowship for International Reporting through Johns Hopkins University.[5]

Following the September 11 attacks, Hondros took photographs at ground zero.[3] Hondros went to cover the Liberian Civil War in 2003. It was here that Hondros photographed Joseph Duo in an image that graced the front cover of publications worldwide.[6] Hondros also followed Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign in 2004.[3] When Hondros returned to cover the Liberian election in 2005, he was able to meet Joseph Duo again to discuss the progress that had been made in Liberia since his last visit.[6][7] His work included disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[3] The United States presidential election in 2008 found Hondros photographing Governor and Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin.[8]

His work appeared as the covers of magazines such as Newsweek and the Economist, and on the front pages of The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.[6] Photographer Tyler Hicks described Hondros as a "sensitive photographer," adding that "He never was in it for himself or for the vanity of what the job brings with it. He really believes in his work."[9]

His photography was featured in the documentary film, Liberia: A Fragile Peace (2006).[10]

Iraq photos[edit]

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 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.[11]

Hondros won dozens of international awards for the images.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19] 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, from University College Dublin.[20]

In an interview, Hondros stated:

Libya and death[edit]

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.[21] [22] Photojournalists Guy Martin said that the group was traveling with rebel fighters.[23][24] According to The New York Times, Hondros died from his injuries as a result of severe brain trauma.[25]

Chris Hondros Fund[edit]

The Chris Hondros Fund is a nonprofit organization established in 2011 in the memory of Hondros and his life's work.[26] The fund's mission is to provide non-profit institutions with grants to advocate for photojournalists. One fellowship for attendance to the Eddie Adams Workshop will be offered annually along with one other fellowship awarded by application.[26]

The first fellowship was awarded in 2012 by Getty Images and the Chris Hondros Fund.[27]

Hondros film[edit]

In 2013 the author Greg Campbell launched a Kickstarter campaign to produce a documentary named Hondros: A Life in Frames.[28] The project was launched with an initial goal of $30,000.00 and became fully funded within three days with a total of $89,639 raised.[29][30]

Campbell and Hondros met and became best friends in high school.[29][31] After Hondros' death, Campbell was contacted by Liberian Joseph Duo, who was the subject of one of Hondros' most famous photographs.[30] Campbell learned that Hondros had returned to Liberia to help Duo earn his high school, college, and eventually law school education.[30]

The film is executive produced by Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Lee Curtis.[31] Curtis also assisted Campbell in finding the first significant funding for the project from the Annenberg Foundation.[31]

The film, re-titled as Hondros, had its world premiere in April 2017 at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it won the Audience Choice Award for documentaries.[32][33] It was released in theaters on March 2, 2018.[34]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ O'Hagan, Sean (11 May 2011). "Chris Hondros obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Hasty, Kim (2011-04-21). "Photojournalist Hondros killed in Libya; former Observer staffer". The Fayetteville Observer. Archived from the original on 2011-04-30. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Woolverton, Paul (2011-04-22). "Chris Hondros: The human cost of war". The Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  4. ^ Garcia, Alex (2011-03-01). "10 Question Interview – Chris Hondros of Getty Images". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  5. ^ a b staff. "Reportage: Chris Hondros". Getty Images. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  6. ^ a b c Dell'Amore, Christine (February 2006). "A Soldier's Story: Photojournalist Chris Hondros, recently killed in Libya, discussed his work in war-torn Liberia with Smithsonian in 2006". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Patrick (8 March 2014). "Getty photographer Chris Hondros and Sarah Palin: A look back in time, and a look beneath the surface". Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  9. ^ Dunlap, David W; Estrin, James; MacDonald, Kerri (April 20, 2011). "Parting Glance: Chris Hondros". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  10. ^ Mauzy, George (2006-06-16). "American premiere of documentary on Liberia scheduled for Feb. 19". Ohio University. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  11. ^ "The end of Rakan's war, Boston Globe.
  12. ^ "Checkpoints test US troops' rules". BBC. 2005-03-08. Retrieved 2009-12-31.
  13. ^ "The Best of Photo Journalism 2006 > Still Photography Winners > International News Picture Story 1st Place". National Press Photographers Association. Archived from the original on 2007-03-03.
  14. ^ "In pictures: Shooting in Tal Afar". BBC. January 2005. Retrieved 2009-12-31.
  15. ^ Hider, James (January 21, 2005). "One Night in Iraq: Chris Hondros Witnesses A Shooting After Nightfall". The Times Online. London.
  16. ^ "Chris Hondros Wins OPC's Robert Capa Gold Medal Award". The Stock Photo Industry Press Release Cemetery. April 19, 2006. Archived from the original on June 10, 2015. Retrieved December 28, 2006.
  17. ^ "The Photographers". Getty Images. Archived from the original on 2008-01-08.
  18. ^ "The Photographers Award Winning Work By Chris Hondros". Getty Images. Archived from the original on 2007-11-10.
  19. ^ a b Hondros, Chris. "The Continuing Story". Columbia Journalism Review.
  20. ^ "Face That Screamed War's Pain Looks Back, 6 Hard Years Later". The New York Times. May 7, 2011.
  21. ^ "Band of brothers: The lives and deaths of war photographers". CBS News Sunday Morning. 9 December 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  22. ^ "IndieWire Reports "Restrepo" Director Tim Hetherington Killed In Libya". Archived from the original on April 25, 2011.
  23. ^ Kiernan, Ed (2012-02-17). "One year on, photographer Guy Martin looks back at the Arab Spring". NBC News. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  24. ^ "Two photographers killed in Libya". CNN. April 21, 2011. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
  25. ^ Chivers, C.J. (April 20, 2011). "'Restrepo' Director and a Photographer Killed in Libya". The New York Times. Benghazi, Libya. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  26. ^ a b Mahoney, John (2011-10-20). "Chris Hondros Fund Goes Live, Supporting and Advancing Photojournalism". American Photo Magazine. Retrieved 2014-03-29. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  27. ^ staff. "The Getty Images and Chris Hondros Fund Award". Getty Images. Archived from the original on 2014-03-31. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  28. ^ Bailey, Holly (July 12, 2013). "Finding Chris Hondros: Film to explore life of slain war photographer through images". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2014-03-29.
  29. ^ a b Campbell, Greg. "Hondros: A Life in Frames". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2014-03-29.
  30. ^ a b c Krueger, Bill (2013-08-05). "Friends look to celebrate Hondros' life with documentary". North Carolina State University Alumni Blog. Retrieved 2014-03-29.
  31. ^ a b c Dukes, Brian (2013-07-15). "Author and journalist Greg Campbell to tell Chris Hondros' story". The Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved 2014-03-29.
  32. ^ Schager, Nick (22 April 2017). "Film Review: 'Hondros'".
  33. ^ Evans, Greg (29 April 2017). "'The Divine Order' & 'Hondros' Take Tribeca Fest Audience Awards".
  34. ^ Taylor, Alan. "A New Documentary Honors the Work and Life of Photojournalist Chris Hondros".
  35. ^ "Christopher Hondros, 2003". World Press Photo. Archived from the original on May 1, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  36. ^ The John Faber Award 2003. Overseas Press Club. Accessed April 20, 2011.
  37. ^ The Pulitzer Prizes: 2004, Breaking News Photography. Accessed April 20, 2011.
  38. ^ Winners' List, 61st Annual Pictures of the Year International Competition. Pictures of the Year International, Missouri School of Journalism. Accessed April 20, 2011.
  39. ^ "Christopher Hondros, 2005. World Press Photo. Accessed April 20, 2011". 2005-01-18. Archived from the original on 2011-09-04. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
  40. ^ Robert Capa Gold Medal, 2005. Overseas Press Club. Accessed April 20, 2011.
  41. ^ O'Hagan, Sean (11 May 2011). "Chris Hondros obituary". the Guardian.
  42. ^ "Winner's List". Days Japan. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  43. ^ 2008 Nominees. National Magazine Awards, American Society of Magazine Editors. Accessed April 20, 2011.
  44. ^ "2012 Finalists", Columbia University. Accessed 17 November.

External links[edit]