Photojournalist who snapped 'Tank Man' image dies aged 64

American photojournalist Charlie Cole, who won the 1990 World Press Photo award for the picture of the man now famously known as the Tank Man, died in Bali last week at the age of 64.
American photojournalist Charlie Cole, who won the 1990 World Press Photo award for the picture of the man now famously known as the Tank Man, died in Bali last week at the age of 64.PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

American photojournalist Charlie Cole, one of the photographers who captured the iconic image of a lone unidentified man blocking a convoy of tanks during the Tiananmen Square protests has died, the BBC reported.

Mr Cole, who won the 1990 World Press Photo award for the picture of the man now famously known as the Tank Man, died in the Indonesian resort island of Bali last week. He was 64.

Mr Cole had been working for Newsweek and was one of four photographers who captured the scene on June 5, 1989, when the Chinese government sent in troops to quash a student-led protest movement in Beijing.

Mr Cole said he shot the image from the balcony of a hotel with a telephoto lens, thinking the man would have faced certain death. But the stand-off ended minutes later, with onlookers pulling the man away.

A film roll of the image was smuggled out of China and the photo later appeared on the front pages of global newspapers. In China, however, the image remains highly taboo and any information about the crackdown is heavily suppressed.