U.S Supported Government Only One Malcolm Browne Of The Associated Press Showed Up


NEW YORK  The buzz calls went out from Saigon's Xa-Loi Buddhist pagoda to alleged assembly of the adopted annual corps. The message: Be at a assertive area tomorrow for a "very important" happening.

The abutting morning, June 11, 1963, an aged abbot alleged Thich Quang Duc, clad in a amber bathrobe and sandals, affected the lotus position on a beanbag in a blocked-off artery intersection. Aides decrepit him with aerodynamics fuel, and the abbot calmly lit a bout and set himself ablaze.

Of the adopted journalists who had been alerted to the abominable political beef adjoin South Vietnam's
U.S.-supported government, abandoned one, Malcolm Browne of The Associated Press, showed up.

The photos he took appeared on advanced pages about the apple and beatific abhorrence all the way to the White House, bidding Admiral John F. Kennedy to adjustment a re-evaluation of his administration's Vietnam policy.

"We accept to do article about that regime," Kennedy told Henry Cabot Lodge, who was about to become U.S. agent to Saigon.

Browne, who died Monday at a New Hampshire hospital at age 81, recalled in a 1998 annual that that was the alpha of the rebellion, which led to U.S.-backed South Vietnamese Admiral Ngo Dinh Diem actuality baffled and murdered, forth with his brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, the civic aegis chief.

"Almost immediately, huge demonstrations began to advance that were no best bound to aloof the Buddhist clergy, but began to allure huge numbers of accustomed Saigon residents," Browne said in the interview.

Browne was diagnosed with Parkinson's ache in 2000 and spent his aftermost years application a wheelchair to get around. He was rushed to the hospital Monday night afterwards experiencing adversity breathing, said his wife, Le Lieu Browne, who lives in Thetford, Vt.

Browne spent best of his journalism career at The New York Times, area he put in 30 years of his four decades as a journalist, abundant of it in war zones.

By his own account, Browne survived actuality attempt bottomward three times in action aircraft, was expelled from bisected a dozen countries and was put on a "death list" in Saigon.

In 1964, Browne, afresh an AP correspondent, and battling Times announcer David Halberstam both won Pulitzer Prizes for their advertisement on the battle in Vietnam. The war had escalated because of the Nov. 1, 1963, accomplishment d'etat in which Diem was killed.

The artifice - by a assembly of generals acting with tacit U.S. approval - was triggered in allotment by beforehand Buddhist protests adjoin the pro-Catholic Diem regime. These drew common absorption back the abbot set himself afire in beef as about 500 bodies watched.

The afire abbot photo became 1 of the aboriginal iconic annual photos of the Vietnam War.

"Malcolm Browne was a absolute and bent announcer who helped set the accepted for accurate advertisement in the aboriginal canicule of the Vietnam War," said Kathleen Carroll, AP controlling editor and arch carnality president. "He was additionally a absolutely appropriate and chic man."

Hal Buell, who was a agent photo editor in New York City back the photo of the afire abbot was taken, said, "That account put the Vietnam War on the advanced folio added than annihilation abroad that happened afore that. That's area the adventure backward for the abutting 10 years or more."

Malcolm Wilde Browne was built-in in New York on April 17, 1931. He accelerating from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania with a amount in chemistry. Working in a lab back drafted in 1956, he was beatific to Korea as a catchbasin driver, but by adventitious got a job autograph for a aggressive newspaper, and from that came a accommodation to barter science for a career in journalism.

He formed aboriginal for the Middletown Daily Record in New York, area he formed alongside Hunter S. Thompson, columnist of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Browne afresh formed briefly for International Annual Service and United Press, the advertiser of United Columnist International, afore abutting the AP in 1960. A year later, the AP beatific him from Baltimore to Saigon to arch its accretion bureau.

There, he became a allotment affiliate of a baby accumulation of reporters accoutrement South Vietnam's U.S.-backed aggressive attempt adjoin the Viet Cong, a civilian antipathetic insurgency.

Within the year he was abutting in Saigon by columnist Horst Faas and anchorman Peter Arnett. By 1966, all three assembly of what a adversary alleged the AP's "human wave" had becoming Pulitzer Prizes - 1 of journalism's accomplished ceremoniousness - for Vietnam coverage.

Writing about official bribery and aggressive incompetence, the accumulation - which additionally included the Times' Halberstam, Neil Sheehan of UPI, Charles Mohr of Time magazine, Nick Turner of Reuters and others - were accused by critics in Vietnam and Washington of acceptable the antipathetic cause.

At one annual briefing, Browne's assiduous questions prompted an affronted U.S. administrator to ask, "Browne, why don't you get on the team?"

Browne, like some of his peers, initially saw the U.S. charge to allowance the abandoned Saigon government as a reasonable idea.

In his 1993 memoir, "Muddy Boots and Red Socks," Browne said he "did not go to Vietnam harboring any action to America's role in the Vietnamese civilian war" but became disillusioned by the Kennedy administration's backstairs "shadow war" concealing the admeasurement of U.S. involvement.

Amid the furor over biased coverage, some reporters claimed to accept accustomed afterlife threats, and Browne said his name was amid those on a account of "supposed enemies of (South Vietnam) who had to be eliminated."

In the 1998 interview, he said that he "never took that seriously" but that back South Vietnam government agents approved to arrest his wife, who had angered admiral by abandonment her advice admiral job, Browne stared them bottomward by continuing in his aperture brandishing a gift submachine gun.

Tall, angular and blond, Browne was a bookish and aberrant appearance with a affection for red socks - they were accessible to match, he explained - and an acerbic wit befitting his grandfather's cousin, Oscar Wilde.

He ridiculed the chat "media," for example, as "that abominable Latin plural our detractors use back they absolutely beggarly "scum."

Overall, assembly saw him as complex, rather mysterious, and aloft all, independent.

"Mal Browne was a loner; he formed alone, did not allotment his sources and didn't generally mix socially with the columnist group," recalled Faas, who died this year. "And adamant - he wouldn't accommodation on a adventure aloof to please his editors or anyone else."

Browne wrote a 1965 book, "The New Face of War," and a chiral for new reporters in Vietnam. Amid its kernels of advice: Accept a athletic brace of boots, watch out for badge spies who eavesdrop on reporters' bar conversations, and "if you're ample through grass with the troops and you apprehend gunfire, don't stick your arch up to see area it's advancing from, as you will be the abutting target."

South Vietnamese admiral censored aboriginal annual letters but to alloyed effects. At atomic once, Browne beatific a adventure to the AP by surreptitiously taping a handwritten agenda over an banal photo actuality transmitted to Tokyo.

By 1965, afflicted by how television appeared to be assertive the accessible discourse, the anchorman who had never endemic a TV set larboard the AP to accompany Annual in Vietnam.

Browne abdicate afterwards a year over administration questions.

After a adventure into annual writing, Browne abutting The New York Times in 1968. He formed in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia, larboard afresh to adapt a science magazine, and alternate to the Times in 1985, mainly as a science writer. He additionally covered the 1991 Gulf War, afresh clashing with U.S. admiral over censorship issues.

Earlier this month, on Aug. 11, Browne, antic his brand red socks, batten in New York City at a canonizing accession anniversary his Saigon compatriots Faas and George Esper, who additionally died this year. He referred to the acquisition as "a ancestors reunion," adage he "always admired the AP as his additional family."

In accession to his wife, survivors accommodate a son, Timothy; a daughter, Wendy, from a antecedent marriage; a brother, Timothy; and a sister, Miriam.

Browne will be active on the family's acreage in Vermont, his added said.

Richard Pyle covered the Vietnam War for bristles years and was AP's Saigon agency arch from 1970 to 1973.

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