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Howard J. Sochurek
Portrait, possibly a self-portrait, of Howard Sochurek in Vietnam, 1 January 1955
25 April 1994(1994-04-25) (aged 69)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Robert Capa Gold Medal
Howard Sochurek (27 November 1924 - 25 April 1994), was an American photojournalist.
On return from war, Sochurek first found work with the Milwaukee Journal, then in 1950 secured a position as staff photographer with Life magazine, going on to work from their New York, Chicago, Detroit, New Delhi, Singapore and Paris offices, and for National Geographic, photographing for stories on the Soviet Union, where in 1959 he covered a visit by Christian Dior fashion models to GUM, the 'USSR's premier department store', on the Middle East, on nationalist Chinese 'Boy Battalion' soldiers in Formosa (1951), traveling also to Mongolia (1962) and Vietnam (1953).
Howard Sochurek (1953) India: Willing hands bring progress. Image included in 'The Family of Man' exhibition and publication.
In 1955 Sochurek was awarded the first Robert Capa Gold Medal. His image India: Willing hands bring progress, showing silhouetted construction workers on scaffolding, was selected by Edward Steichen for MoMA's globally-touring The Family of Man exhibition, and Sochurek also documented the installation of the exhibition for publicity. Sochurek was the first photojournalist to receive the Harvard research sabbatical, the Nieman Fellowship in 1959.
Contribution to medical imaging
Sochurek left Life in 1970 after two decades to work as a freelancer. On assignment for Life, Sochurek had been told to investigate advances in medical imaging. Seeing an opportunity, he secured a computer from NASA that had been used to produce images from the transmissions of spy and weather satellites, becoming one of the first photographers to use computers to image, enhance and colourise X-ray and CT scans. His reputation among medical circles grew, and many doctors and pharmaceutical and other medical companies used his photographs in textbooks and advertisements.
^"Veteran news correspondent Howard Sochurek supported Galbraith's cautionary view, warning President Kennedy against Diem and asserting that this 'Dirty War' was 'rapidly becoming ours'". Jones, Howard (2003), Death of a generation : how the assassinations of Diem and JFK prolonged the Vietnam War, Oxford University Press, ISBN978-0-19-505286-2 p.165
^Hickey, Gerald Cannon (2002), Window on a war : an anthropologist in the Vietnam conflict, Texas Tech University Press, ISBN978-0-89672-490-7
^ation Salemink, Oscar (2001), The ethnography of Vietnam's Central Highlanders : a historical contextualization, 1850-1990, Curzon, ISBN978-0-7007-1570-1
^Sochurek, Howard. 'American Special Forces in Action in Vietnam'. National Geographic, January 1965, p38--64
^'At the same time that Life was publishing [Lennart] Nilsson, National Geographic was fostering the parallel career of the American photojournalist Howard Sochurek. A battlefield photographer in the Pacific during World War II, Sochurek developed an interest in medical photography and technical computer image processing in the 1980s.
National Geographic's January 1987 issue features Sochurek's photographic essay in which, using himself as a subject, he discovered that the CT scanner had revealed glitch in his own system. The picture was a false alarm, though, and Sochurek continued experiencing and photographing images in every imaging mode. The high visual quality of Sochurek's photographic prints give the deceptive impression that the map of the brain is almost filled out...' Kevles, Bettyann (1997), Naked to the bone : medical imaging in the twentieth century, Rutgers University Press, ISBN978-0-8135-2358-3
^Obituaries: Howard Sochurek, A Photographer, 69, The New York Times. Published: 29 April 1994