Two great photojournalists lost their lives this week

Tim Hetherington—a photojournalist and director of the Afghan-war documentary Restrepo—was killed yesterday amid the fighting in Misurata, Libya.

Born in Liverpool, Hetherington studied literature at Oxford and spent eight years in West Africa (four of them in war-torn Liberia, where he was the only Western photographer to live behind rebel lines). He was not a novice, nor was he the first journalist to die while covering the present conflict: Libya Alhurra TV founder Mohammed al-Nabbous and Al Jazeera’s Ali Hassan al-Jaber were killed last month. Hetherington’s colleague Chris Hondros, of Getty Images, was wounded in the same attack in Misurata and died a few hours afterward.

I met Hetherington briefly last year, when a film magazine had me profile him and his Restrepo co-director, Sebastian Junger. He was scary-smart, curious about the world, justifiably proud of the documentary that he and Junger had financed themselves after getting the cold shoulder from Hollywood studios and network executives. Hondros was 41 years old. Hetherington was 40.

Alex Abramovich is the editor of Very Short List.

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Two great photojournalists lost their lives this week