Author of Pulitzer-Prized-Photograph discovered after 26 years

Today several newspapers anounced that the author of a photograph that was given the Pulitzer-Prize back in 1980 anonymously has finally been discovered.

Jahangir Razmi

Jahangir Razmi, 58, is an iranian photographer who finally decided to share the story of his life with a reporter from „Wall Street Journal“: A Chilling Photograph’s Hidden History:

On Aug. 27, 1979, two parallel lines of 11 men formed on a field of dry dirt in Sanandaj, Iran. One group wore blindfolds. The other held rifles. The command came in Farsi to fire: „Atesh!“ Behind the soldier farthest to the right, a 12th man also shot, his Nikon camera and Kodak film preserving in black and white a mass execution. Within hours, the photo ran across six columns in Ettela’at, the oldest newspaper in Iran. Within days, it appeared on front pages around the world. Within weeks, the new Iranian government annexed the offending paper. Within months, the photo won the Pulitzer Prize. Taken seven months after Islamic radicals overthrew the U.S.-backed Shah, the photo remains one of the most famous images of Iran. It is an icon of government terror …


Back in 1979, Jahangir Razmi worked for a newspaper in Iran. Soon after the picture was published, international newspapers reprinted it and spread the word of the Khomeini revolution. The photographer remained incognito, probably that was the best way to save his life. Razmi says he never claimed to be the author afterwards because his picture showed the ugly face of his beloved country. In the meantime, he is kind of the official photographer of today´s iranian leader, Mahmud Ahmadinedschad. Hopefully he will never find himself again in a situation similar to the day he shot the Pulitzer-prized photo!

Another story about this photographer from ABC News: Pulitzers to Honor Iranian Photographer, and one from the german magazine „Spiegel“: Fotograf verleugnete beste Aufnahme seines Lebens 27 Jahre lang.

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