April 10, 2009
In 1968, in 1/500th of a second Eddie Adams photographed a Saigon police chief, General Nguyen Nyoc Loan, shooting a Vietcong guerilla point blank. Some say that photograph ended the Vietnam War. The photo brought Eddie fame and a Pulitzer, but Eddie was haunted by the man he had vilified. He would say "Two lives were destroyed that day, the victim's and the general's." Others would say three lives were destroyed. Eddie Adams, like most artists, was tortured by his need for perfection. Nothing he did ever satisfied him. He carved out many careers shooting covers for Life, Time, and even Penthouse. Yes somehow, he was always pulled back into documenting wars, 13 all together. Finally he hit the wall and couldn't take it anywmore. He began shooting celebrities because 'It doesn't take anything from you.' Eddie was comfortable with kings and coal miners. During his time with Parade Magazine he photographed Clint Eastwood, Louis Armstrong, Mother Theresa, and Pope John Paul II.