Photojournalist who snapped 'Tank Man' image dies at 64

The iconic image of a lone unidentified man blocking a convoy of tanks during the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing on June 5, 1989. American photojournalist Charlie Cole, who shot the image from the balcony of a hotel with a telephoto lens, has d
The iconic image of a lone unidentified man blocking a convoy of tanks during the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing on June 5, 1989. American photojournalist Charlie Cole, who shot the image from the balcony of a hotel with a telephoto lens, has died. 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 Indonesia's 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.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2019, with the headline 'Photojournalist who snapped 'Tank Man' image dies at 64'. Print Edition | Subscribe