ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Yannis Behrakis, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, has died. He was 58.
His death Saturday was confirmed by his employers, Reuters, where he had worked since 1987. Behrakis had long been ill with cancer.
Born in Athens in 1960, Behrakis studied photography at a private school and worked at a studio before fulfilling his lifelong dream to become a photojournalist. Since early 1989, he had been on assignments across Europe, the Mideast Asia and Africa, often in conflict zones.
In 2000, he was ambushed in Sierra Leone, likely by rebels, and barely escaped along with Reuters’ co-worker Mark Chisholm. Their Reuters colleague Kurt Schork, Behrakis’ close friend, and AP cameraman Miguel Gil Moreno were killed.
Behrakis led a team of Reuters photographers to the 2016 Pulitzer Prize, covering the refugee crisis.
In 2017 he visited Boston for a presentation at Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and he spoke with The National Herald: “What attracted me to photojournalism was and still is the ability to enter the homes of millions of people and with my photograph to give the opportunity to a global audience to learn what is happening at the ends of the world. So, this way I don’t let anybody say that ‘I didn’t know’.”
“The photo-reporting is one of the very strong, important journalistic means of information. We see often photographs that become the reason that the global community changes its position on an issue. Furthermore, we have seen photographs that even change the positions of governments.”