One war. One image.

Hugh Van Es has died. You may not recognize the name. Perhaps you recognize the picture he took:


The image — the fall of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War — is also one of the most misunderstood. It’s often described as the scene atop the U.S. embassy. But it actually was an apartment building that housed CIA operatives. No matter, really. It captured the drama perfectly.

A local newspaper rejiggered the wire-service-supplied obituary today to say the photo was the most famous photograph of the war. Was it?

Just off the top of my head, here are a couple of competitors in the category.




I can’t pick just one.