In 1846, five New York City newspapers funded a pony express route through Alabama to bring news of the Mexican War north faster than the U.S. Post Office could deliver it. And The Associated Press was born.
The AP was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 175 years, it has been the first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.
Today Associated Press operates in 250 locations in 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict, and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
WALL OF HONOR
Visitors to AP global headquarters in New York enter the newsroom passing by the Wall of Honor — a memorial to the 37 AP journalists who died on assignment since the news cooperative was founded in 1846.
Our journalists routinely cover perilous situations, from the war in Afghanistan to the front lines of the Ebola outbreak, putting themselves in danger on a daily basis to tell the world's stories. Here we remember those who lost their lives while reporting the news.
Mark Kellogg (1833-1876)
Mark Kellogg, a journalist and telegrapher working for the Bismarck (N.D.) Tribune, was killed covering Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer on the first day of the battle of the Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876. By special arrangement, Kellogg’s reporting appeared in Western Associated Press member papers, in The New York Herald, and in other eastern papers. News of his death at age 43 was published in the Tribune on July 12, 1876, with the words from a note he left behind: “I go with Custer and will be at the death.” Custer had ignored warnings not to take journalists with him from Fort Lincoln to the Little Bighorn and invited the Tribune's publisher, Clement Lounsberry, to accompany the troops. When Lounsberry fell ill at the last moment, Kellogg took his place.
Ambrose William Lyman (1848-1898)
Ambrose William Lyman had more than two decades of experience as a journalist when he went to Cuba to cover the Spanish-American war for AP. The Warren, Ohio, native had studied at the state's Miami University and reported for The Cleveland Leader before coming to New York in 1879. He worked briefly for the New York Tribune and, in 1885, The New York Sun sent him to Washington to cover President Grover Cleveland. Before Cleveland's term was over, Lyman headed west to manage The Helena (Mont.) Independent. He stayed there for eight years, returning in 1897 to New York, where he joined AP. While in Cuba for AP, Lyman contracted yellow fever. Despite his illness, he remained on duty until the surrender of Santiago. He returned to Brooklyn, N.Y., where he died on Oct. 3, 1898, at the age of 50.
Henry J. Middleton (c. 1876-1904)
Henry J. Middleton was just a teenager when he joined AP in London in 1892, but his talents were quickly recognized. As AP correspondent and bureau chief in France, his reporting of the Dreyfus Affair was described as "brilliant" by The New York Times, which noted that, "Though unassisted, he often forwarded four or five columns a day dealing with that great case." In 1902, Middleton went to New York as night cable editor, followed by a transfer to San Francisco to set up the cable department there. In 1904, he sailed to Japan and then on to Seoul, Korea. He then traveled to Manchuria to cover the Russo-Japanese War. The 28-year-old contracted dysentery and died June 26, 1904, in Liaoyang, Manchuria. He was buried with Russian military honors at Chefoo.
Edward J. Neil Jr. (1900-1938)
AP sports writer Edward J. Neil Jr. had already earned a Pulitzer Prize honorable mention for a story about the "world's most dangerous mile and a half" bobsled ride at Lake Placid, N.Y. when he requested an overseas assignment. Neil, the son of an AP telegraph operator in Boston, went on to cover Italy's conquest of Ethiopia, Arab uprisings in Palestine, and the coronation of King George VI of England. On Jan. 2, 1938, the 37-year-old was reporting from the Teruel front during one of the Spanish Civil War's greatest battles when a shell exploded a few feet away from the parked car in which he was seated. He died of his injuries two days later in Zaragoza, Spain. "It was said of Edward Joseph Neil Jr. that he always wanted to be 'where the action was thickest,'" The New York Times reported. The newspaper also quoted Neil writing to a friend, "One nice thing these wars do teach you - when your number comes up you grin, shrug, and make the best of it. No one has time to listen to a bleat."
Daniel Witt Hancock (1907-1942)
Newsman Witt Hancock was killed on March 7, 1942, when Japanese bombers sank the Dutch refugee ship he was aboard in the Indian Ocean south of Java. He was 34 and the first AP reporter to die during World War II. War correspondents in the Dutch East Indies had a difficult time getting stories through to the outside world, but Hancock managed one last time on March 2 to get a telephone call - monitored by censors - through from Java to AP in New York. Hancock told Cable Editor James Long that the Army planned to evacuate foreign newsmen soon but he hadn't decided when he would leave. His last words on the call: "Good luck, and keep your fingers crossed." He was missing for months after that, and an account of his death was finally given by another correspondent who escaped the sinking ship. Hancock joined the AP in Raleigh, N.C., in 1929, and worked in Charlotte and New York, London, Moscow, Turkey, and India before arriving in Indonesia as the Japanese forces approached.
Edward H. (Harry) Crockett (1911-1943)
Newsman Harry Crockett was killed on Feb. 5, 1943, aboard a British ship that was torpedoed by enemy warships in the Mediterranean Sea. He was 31. Crockett began covering World War II a year earlier, reporting from the battlefront in Egypt and German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's last offensive at Bir Hachem in the desert. "He rode tanks. ... He stood with gunners to watch artillery pound the enemy and he watched infantry from points of vantage were only a man with real courage would want to stand," wrote Ed Kennedy, an AP correspondent who had worked with Crockett in the Middle East. A native of Lowell, Mass., Crockett joined the AP in Boston in 1937. On Jan. 25, 1944, Crockett's widow, Sally, christened a 10,500-ton Liberty ship the "Edward H. Crockett." with a smashing of the traditional champagne bottle at launching from a shipyard in South Portland, Maine.
George Bede Irvin (1910-1944)
Photographer Bede Irvin was killed July 25, 1944, after photographing an aerial bombardment north of St. Lo, France, at the start of the Allied drive out of Normandy. He was 33. An Allied bomb that fell short of its mark caught Irvin as he dived for a roadside ditch from the jeep he had been sitting in. He had apparently hesitated for a second to grab his camera and was hit by a bomb fragment. Irvin, a native of Des Moines, Iowa, worked for the Des Moines Register and Tribune before joining the AP in Kansas City in 1936. He worked in Detroit before going to London in 1943 on the eve of the Normandy invasion, the first American photographer assigned by the AP to cover the war in Europe in preparation for D-Day. He was buried with military honors at a U.S. Military Cemetery near La Cambe, France, on July 27, 1944, his 34th birthday.
Asahel "Ace" Bush (1910-1944)
Newsman Asahel Bush was killed on Oct. 25, 1944, when a Japanese bomb struck the American-occupied capital of Tacloban, on the Philippine island of Leyte. He was 31 and the first correspondent to die in the Philippines during World War II. Bush died a year to the day after he left San Francisco to report on activities in the Pacific theater. He covered nearly every operation launched by Gen. Douglas MacArthur and had come close to death on many of his assignments. Bush, who joined the AP in 1939 in Salt Lake City, was born into a newspaper family in Salem, Ore. His great-grandfather established the state's first newspaper, The Oregon City Statesman.
Joseph Morton (1911-1945)
In the fall of 1944, war correspondent Joseph Morton accompanied a group of American intelligence officers on a secret mission from Italy into Slovakia to assist an anti-Nazi uprising. The 34-year-old, who had made headlines with exclusive interviews of Yugoslavia's Josip Broz Tito and Romania's King Michael, told his bureau chief only that the assignment would be the "biggest story of my life." By late October, the Nazis had closed in. Morton and the U.S. officers hid in the mountains for two months, before taking refuge from the snow and bitter cold in a mountain hut, where they were captured hours after Christmas. They were tortured and, on Jan. 24, 1945, shot to death at the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. Morton, the only foreign correspondent executed by the Nazis, was from St. Joseph, Mo., and had joined AP in 1937. His widow, Letty Miller Morton, wrote that Morton always "championed the underprivileged - the little man who was not getting his due in the world" and that she took comfort that he died "doing the work he loved." The mountain hut was later rebuilt and, in 1994, AP dedicated a plaque at the site in Morton's memory.
William R. Moore (1910-1950)
Newsman Bill Moore was killed by mortar fire on July 31, 1950, after dropping his pencil and notebook to help an Army lieutenant wounded in a North Korean attack near Chinju. He was 40. Moore had been missing for several months when the AP received word of his death in October 1950 from a corporal captured in the same action. He said he had met Moore earlier that day. "I thought he was an officer and said Sir, would you like a cup of coffee?'," the corporal said. "He replied, 'You don't have to 'Sir' me, fellow. I'm a correspondent. I'm Bill Moore of the AP.' ... Nice fellow. Real friendly and a real storyteller." Moore, a native of Nowata, Okla., joined the AP in Denver in 1937 and served in the Army in Korea during World War II before returning to the AP in New York in 1946. He went to Korea in 1948 as a correspondent and was there at the outbreak of war on June 29, 1950.
Y.C. Jao (1898-1951)
Y.C. Jao, a reporter for the AP in Nanjing, China, was sentenced to death by Chinese Communist authorities during a series of mass political purges, charged with spying and counterrevolutionary activity. An erudite and thoughtful graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a respected newspaper editor in China, Jao went to work for AP during the civil war between the Communist Party’s Red Army and the forces of Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek. When American staff was ordered out of the country after the 1949 Communist victory, Jao chose to continue in Nanjing to represent AP interests for several months waiting for normal relations to be re-established. Sometime during 1950, the AP lost contact with him. His arrest was proclaimed by Communist newspapers in May 1951, during a series of mass purges of perceived enemies of the party. Years later, a court confirmed that his sentence was due to his journalism and work for The Associated Press. His family members suffered harsh political reprisals over the years, including denial of educational opportunities. They said the execution was carried out on April 29, 1951.
Daniel J. Coughlin Jr. (1927-1958)
Newsman Daniel Coughlin was one of six reporters killed when a U.S. Air Force plane attempting to break transatlantic speed records crashed on takeoff from Westover Air Force Base, Mass. He was 31. The jet, one of four attempting to break speed records between New York and London, snapped power lines and burst into flames, sliding across the newly-finished Massachusetts Turnpike before exploding in a cornfield on June 27, 1958. Coughlin, who served in the Army in Europe during World War II, joined the AP in Charlotte in 1952 and transferred to his native Boston in 1957.
Bernard Kolenberg (1927-1965)
Bernard Kolenberg, a photographer for the Times-Union of Albany, N.Y., who volunteered for AP service in Vietnam, was killed Oct. 2, 1965, when the jet bomber he was in collided with another bomber over central Vietnam. He was 38 and the first journalist to be killed in combat in Vietnam. Kolenberg had covered the war in Vietnam for five weeks in 1964, producing a series of photographs for the Times-Union, where he had worked for 20 years. "He was Bernie to everyone," the Times-Union said in a tribute published the day Kolenberg was killed, "including the last three New York governors." Kolenberg was noted for his courage in taking difficult photos and his tenderness in photographing children.
Huynh Thanh My (1937-1965)
An encounter in a muddy rice field with Horst Faas during the Vietnam War led Huynh Thanh My to join AP in 1963. I was working as a freelancer for CBS covering a battle in the Mekong Delta when Faas, AP Saigon's photo chief, offered him a job. I already was an established cameraman and actor in South Vietnam, and under Faas' training became one of AP's most capable photographers, renowned for his fearlessness. On Oct. 10, 1965, the 28-year-old was covering another Delta battle when he was wounded in the chest and arm. He was killed by the enemy while awaiting evacuation. After My's death, Faas hired his teenage brother, Huynh Cong "Nick" Ut, who went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for his picture of young Kim Phuc, screaming as she fled a napalm attack. "Everything I have accomplished, I owe to him. My brother taught me the value of skills, honor, and determination," Nick Ut said. "He taught me to control the fear of gunfire and death which is so necessary for both soldiers and photographers. I miss him very much, and I hope I would have made him proud."
Klaus Frings (1935-1968)
Photographer Klaus Frings died April 17, 1968, two days after being struck in the head by a rock while taking pictures of a clash between police and some 2,000 demonstrators outside the Munich printing plant of the Bild-Zeitung. He was 32. Frings kept shooting when the demonstration reached a heated stage, despite threats from the students, who said the pictures might be used against them. Holding his camera high overhead, Frings took what turned out to be his last picture. Within seconds, a fist-size rock fatally struck him in the head. Frings, a native of Muenster, Germany, had worked for the AP for four years, the last two as a staffer based in Munich.
Oliver Noonan Jr. (1939-1969)
Oliver Noonan was aboard an Army helicopter shot down southwest of Danang, Vietnam, on Aug. 19, 1969, killing him, an infantry battalion commander, and six other soldiers. He was 29. That day, he'd carried a large metal camera case, joking to a reporter-colleague, "If they shoot at the helicopter, I'll hide behind it." Noonan, the son of a Boston news photographer, had taken leave from the Boston Globe to cover the war. Joining AP in Saigon, he spent most of his time covering the troops. "Every step is earned here," he wrote home. "Nothing is free." Noonan's byline also appeared on AP stories, including one on the departure of an Army combat unit that began America's withdrawal from Vietnam.
Henri Huet (1927-1971)
Photographer Henri Huet was one of four combat photographers killed when their helicopter was shot down over Laos on Feb. 10, 1971. He was 43. Huet had waited for a week in the cold and rain near the Laos border for a chance to cross into the newest front of the war in Vietnam. On Feb. 10, he boarded one of two helicopters headed for some Vietnamese firebases deep in Laos. In the early afternoon, two helicopters were shot down - one carried the photographers. Huet was one of the most widely known and most popular figures in combat photography during the war. American GI's and officers often shouted to other AP staffers "Hey where's Henri? Tell him to come and see us." A French citizen who was born in Da Lat, Vietnam, and educated in France, Huet returned to Vietnam as a photographer with the French navy during the First Indochina conflict. He joined the AP in Saigon in 1965. Huet was wounded in the right leg by shrapnel in 1967 and was sent to the United States to recuperate before returning.
Dennis Lee Royle (1922-1971)
In his nearly 30-year career with AP, photographer Dennis Lee Royle traveled the globe, covering the 1952 sinking of the American freighter Flying Enterprise, the Dalai Lama's escape from Tibet in 1959, and the attempted assassination of South African Prime Minister Henrik Verwoerd in 1960. He also photographed the Congo war in 1960 and 1961, the East African mutinies of 1964, and the troubles of emerging independence in Kenya, Cyprus, and other countries. His photos of starving children in Biafra during the Nigerian Civil War were credited with prompting relief efforts. On May 20, 1971, he was covering naval exercises conducted by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization when the helicopter he was in crashed over the English Channel. He was 49. "It is a tragic irony that Dennis, who had been in so many dangerous spots for The Associated Press, such as the Hungarian revolution, wars in the Middle East and in India, lost his life in such an accident - but still in the pursuit of the news, as were his colleagues who died with him," said Wes Gallagher, AP's president, and general manager.
Ali Ibrahim Mursal (1955-1993)
Ali Ibrahim Mursal, a driver and translator, died on Jan. 5, 1993, after defending another AP staffer from a thief in Somalia. He was 37. Mursal had driven three AP staffers to Mogadishu's main market to buy fruit. As they walked through the stalls, a thief tried to grab a gold chain from the neck of one of the AP staffers. Mursal was shot in the back with an assault weapon as he struggled with the thief. He managed to direct his colleagues to the nearest hospital, where he died. The AP hired Mursal in August 1992 when the Somali native showed up looking for work with two late-model Jeeps. AP Special Correspondent Mort Rosenblum said he considered Mursal to be a stringer who had excellent contacts and who gathered useful, accurate information for the AP. "He was a newsperson of the first order who risked his life again and again for journalistic purposes," he said.
Sharon Herbaugh (1954-1993)
Sharon Herbaugh was killed on April 16, 1993, in a helicopter crash in the central mountains of Afghanistan, 100 miles north of Kabul. She was 39 and the first AP newswoman and bureau chief to die on assignment. Herbaugh had spent three years covering the Afghan civil war and its aftermath. "One of Sharon's editors once said, She's always looking for the next hurricane,'" AP President and CEO Louis D. Boccardi said after her death. "That search ended in a field in Afghanistan but Sharon leaves a legacy of brave, insightful work that helped us all understand a distant, bitter conflict." Herbaugh, a native of Lamar, Colo., joined the AP in Denver in 1978 and worked in Dallas, Houston, and New York before transferring to New Delhi in 1988, where she was named news editor the following year. She became chief of the bureau in Islamabad in 1990.
Hansjoerg "Hansi" Krauss (1963-1993)
Photographer Hansi Krauss was one of four journalists stoned to death in Mogadishu on July 12, 1993, by a mob enraged by a U.S. helicopter assault on Somali militia targets. He was 30. Krauss, a German native, joined the AP in Berlin in 1989 and covered the fall of the Berlin Wall that year. He later covered the fighting in Bosnia-Herzegovina before going to Somalia. Colleagues remembered Krauss as a man who never lost his sense of humor and accumulated friends. "He was a workhorse, loved his job, and had a passion for sensation," said Berlin photo editor Elke Bruhn-Hoffman.
Andrei Soloviev (1955-1993)
Andrei Soloviev, a Russian freelance photographer on assignment for the AP, was fatally shot on Sept. 27, 1993, during a battle between Abkhazian and Georgian forces for control of Sukhumi in the breakaway region of Abkhazia. He was 39. The experienced combat photographer was wearing a bullet-proof vest but he was shot in the shoulder and the bullet penetrated his chest. Soloviev had been wounded twice before while covering the ethnic conflicts in the former Soviet Union, once in March 1993, and the second time a week before his death. Soloviev, who worked for the ITAR-Tass news agency, won a 1991 World Press Photo "Golden Eye" award for coverage of ethnic conflicts in the Caucasus Mountains, Moldova, and Tajikistan. He also covered the 1989 revolution in Romania and the 1991 Persian Gulf War. "I save people from death by my presence with the camera," ITAR-Tass quoted Soloviev as once saying. "I try to prevent violence with my work."
Abdul Shariff (1962-1994)
Photographer Abdul Shariff was shot to death on Jan. 9, 1994, while covering a delegation of African National Congress leaders visiting Katlehong, South Africa. He was 31. Shariff, a free-lance photographer on assignment for the AP, was in a crowd of journalists surrounding the dignitaries on the muddy dirt road when young men carrying AK-47 automatic rifles began shooting from the narrow paths between houses. Shariff attempted to run across a small clearing - maybe for a better view. Witnesses said he was killed by a single shot in the back. The bullet apparently went through his body and dented the Nikon F4 camera hanging around his neck. Shariff was born in Verulam in the South African state of Natal. He became a news photographer after studying at the University of Natal-Pietermaritzburg.
Farkhad Kerimov (1948-1995)
Television cameraman Farkhad Kerimov was killed on May 22, 1995, while covering the war in Chechnya. He was 46. Kerimov, a freelance cameraman, was on assignment for APTV when he was shot while working near villages outside the Chechen capital Grozny. He had been covering the breakaway republic's war with Russia over its independence since December 1994. He had covered the Caucasus region's ethnic and civil conflicts since 1990, traveled repeatedly to the disputed enclave of Nagorno- Karabakh, and covered civil and ethnic wars in Georgia, Tadjikistan and Moldova. Kerimov was born in Moscow but spent most of his life in the Azerbaijan capital of Baku, where he graduated from the Institute of Physics and Mathematics and worked in the scientific field before switching to journalism in 1988.
Myles Tierney (1964-1999)
Myles Tierney, a producer for APTN, was killed on Jan. 10, 1999, when gunmen opened fire on his vehicle at a checkpoint in Sierra Leone, torn by civil unrest between rebels and the government. He was 34. Ian Stewart, AP's West Africa chief of bureau, suffered a gunshot wound to the head in the attack, and AP photographer David Guttenfelder was injured by flying glass. Though he was a cameraman, Tierney's byline appeared on a range of stories from Africa. He joined AP's TV arm in 1996, organizing coverage of a military coup in Burundi. He set up the agency's first TV bureau in New York before returning to Africa in 1997. Nigel Baker, head of news for APTN, said he was reluctant to send Tierney back but eventually relented. "Not only was he the best man for the job," Baker said, "colleagues in Africa called me to say Myles was the only man for the job. They trusted him with their lives in difficult situations."
Miguel Gil Moreno De Mora (1967-2000)
APTN producer and cameraman Miguel Gil Moreno de Mora was killed on May 24, 2000, when rebels ambushed his vehicle near Rogberi Junction in Sierra Leone. He was 32. A native of Barcelona, Spain, Gil Moreno de Mora abandoned a career as a corporate lawyer to work as a journalist. His family said Gil Moreno felt called to his mission of giving a voice to people who had none. He covered conflicts for APTN in Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo, Congo, and Sierra Leone. He won the 1998 Rory Peck photographic prize and the 1999 Television Technician of the Year award from the Royal Television Society. His death brought an outpouring of grief and tribute from inside and outside the AP. "Miguel was intuitive, bold and one of the most intelligent cameramen of his generation," said Nigel Baker, head of APTN news, "He had immense respect from all who knew him not just for his work but because he was a deeply modest man who would help anybody he could."
Kerem Lawton (1970-2001)
APTN producer Kerem Lawton was killed on March 29, 2001, when his car was hit by mortar fire near the volatile Kosovo-Macedonian border. He was 30. Lawton was the husband of APTN producer Elida Ramadani. Born in Brussels, Belgium, and raised in England, Lawton was the son of a Turkish mother and a British father. Bilingual in Turkish and English, he also spoke German, French, and some Italian. Lawton joined the AP as a newsman in Rome and later joined APTN in Turkey. He immersed himself in assignments that took him into the grimmest of circumstances - the conflict in Kosovo, the Kurdish insurgency in southeast Turkey, Albania's 1997 plunge into near-anarchy, ethnic tensions in China's Xinjiang province. Yet through it all, there was a sense of generosity about him, an infectious sense of fun. "I do not exaggerate in saying that he was everyone's golden boy," said Rome Chief of Bureau Dennis Redmont, a family friend. "He had a lightness in a profession where many people are heavy hitters. Everyone wanted Kerem as his brother, his boyfriend, and his son."
Nazeh Darwazeh (1959-2003)
APTN cameraman Nazeh Darwazeh was killed on April 19, 2003, while filming a confrontation between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians throwing stones and firebombs in the West Bank city of Nablus. He was 43 and was hailed by colleagues as a courageous cameraman who worked fearlessly to ensure that events in Nablus were reported internationally. Darwazeh began working for APTN in 2001 after the outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian fighting. Born into a large family, Darwazeh studied at the University of Amman in Jordan. He returned to Nablus in 1990 to work in one of his family's three photo studios, and later as a cameraman for Palestinian TV. Darwazeh was married to Naela and the couple had four sons and a daughter, ranging in age from four months to 11 years old.
Saleh Ibrahim (1971-2005)
In the days of Saddam Hussein, Saleh Ibrahim shot wedding videos but dreamed of becoming a news cameraman. After the fall of Hussein in 2003, the Iraqi native realized his goal when he was hired first as a stringer and then made APTN cameraman for Mosul, a northern Iraqi city. The father of three was so dedicated to the work that he taught his wife to transmit video to London via satellite phone - enabling him to stay in the field shooting without losing ground to competitors. On April 23, 2005, Saleh and his brother-in-law, AP photographer Mohammed Ibrahim, drove to the scene of an explosion in Mosul. Shots were fired, killing Saleh, 33, and injuring Mohammed. AP still does not know who fired the shots. "It's a double tragedy for me," said Ahmed Sami, senior APTN producer in Baghdad. "I have lost a friend and a news champion in APTN's Iraq network."
Aswan Ahmed Lutfallah (1971-2006)
Nicknamed 'The Eagle,' APTN cameraman Aswan Ahmed Lutfallah was known for his determination to get the story no matter how difficult the circumstances. On Dec. 12, 2006, the Iraqi native was having his car repaired in eastern Mosul in northern Iraq when police and insurgents began fighting. The 35-year-old rushed to cover the clash, only to be shot to death by insurgents who spotted him filming, according to Iraqi police. The insurgents also stripped him of his camera equipment, cell phone, and press ID card. "He never ever lost a story. He loved his job and was dedicated to it. He only filmed what he saw: The truth and nothing but the truth," recalled Ahmed Sami, senior APTN producer in Baghdad. Lutfallah had begun working for AP as a cameraman in 2005. He was married to Alyaa Abdul-Karim Salim and the father of 6-year-old Yusof and an infant daughter Rafa.
Ahmed Hadi Naji (1978-2007)
Ahmed Hadi Naji left his home in the Ashura Al Khamsa district of Baghdad on December 30, 2006, headed to the AP bureau on his red-and-white motorbike. When he did not return home that night, his wife, Sahba'a Mudhar Khalil, reported him missing. Six days later, on January 5, he was found in a Baghdad morgue, shot in the back of the head. His killing remains unsolved. Naji, 28, joined AP 2 1/2 years earlier as a messenger, but his love of video cameras and his talent earned him a promotion to cameraman. "He was over the moon with his work," said Ahmed Sami, APTN senior producer in Baghdad. "He was a young guy who learned quickly and had a bright future." Naji had just become a father and left behind four-month-old twins, Zaid and Rand. His two brothers also worked as bike messengers for AP.
Anthony Mitchell (1968-2007)
In 2006, AP reporter Anthony Mitchell was abruptly expelled from Ethiopia following a series of stories about government fraud and corruption. But that didn't deter Mitchell. The following year, as Nairobi correspondent, he uncovered the illegal detention and transfer of terror suspects from Kenya to Somalia and eventually into Ethiopian prisons. He was returning from a trip investigating the criminal trade in endangered species in the Central African Republic when the plane he was on crashed in Cameroon on May 5, 2007. There were no survivors. Mitchell, a British citizen who had also worked in Sierra Leone, Kosovo, and London, had two children: Tom, 3, and Rose, 1. "Anthony was a fantastic father, husband, and son," said his wife, Catherine Fitzgibbon. "He was the life and soul of every party with a wonderful dry wit and a great sense of humor. He lived life to the full and died doing the job he loved."
Anja Niedringhaus (1965 - 2014)
Anja Niedringhaus faced down some of the world's greatest dangers and had one of the world's most infectious laughs. She photographed dying and death and embraced humanity and life. She gave herself to the subjects of her lens and gave her talents to the world. Her subjects included wars' unwitting victims in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, and beyond. Shot to death by an Afghan policeman on April 4, 2014 - an attack that seriously wounded colleague Kathy Gannon - Niedringhaus left behind a diverse body of work that won awards and broke hearts. She documented Wimbledon champions, children playing between armies on the front lines, and soldiers confronting death. She was a member of the AP team that received the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography for war coverage in Iraq. "Anja Niedringhaus was one of the most talented, brave, and accomplished photojournalists of her generation," said AP Vice President and Director of Photography Santiago Lyon. "She truly believed in the need to bear witness."
Ali Shehda Abu Afash (1978 - 2014)
Gaza resident Ali Shehda Abu Afash was a computer engineer until he quit to work as a translator and advocate for journalists covering the Palestinian territories. He was affiliated with the Gaza Centre for Media Freedom and a sister agency in Doha. Abu Afash, 36, was working with AP video journalist Simone Camilli and photographer Hatem Moussa on Aug. 13, 2014, as they covered a bomb disposal crew in the northern Gaza Strip. Abu Afash, Camilli, and four bomb experts were killed when the ordnance they were inspecting blew up. Moussa was seriously injured. Family, friends, and colleagues cited Abu Afash's generosity. "He is not a journalist. He's not a terrorist, nor a politician. He's an innocent man who loves to help everyone," said his wife, Shireen, a doctor who spent much of the war treating the wounded. "For a month, he went out day and night, working with all the foreign journalists, under the bombs, " she told The Washington Post. In addition to his wife, Abu Afash is survived by two daughters, ages 7 and 2.
Simone Camilli (1979 - 2014)
Video journalist Simone Camilli was a consummate storyteller - a passionate, talented newsman who covered popes in the splendor of the Vatican and horrific conflict from the former Soviet republic of Georgia to the Middle East. But he could also capture the simple joy of a smiling child. The 35-year-old newsman was killed on Aug. 13, 2014, in the Gaza Strip when leftover ordnance believed to have been dropped in an Israeli airstrike blew up. Also killed were freelance Palestinian translator Ali Shehda Abu Afash and four Gaza police engineers. AP photographer Hatem Moussa was badly injured. "You might think he was a thrill-seeker. Simone wasn't one of those," said friend and AP colleague Chris Slaney. "His best work was filmed far from the front lines. He was proud of items which were simple, human stories well-told." Simone Camilli is survived by his long-time partner Ylva van den Berg, their 3-year-old daughter Nour, his parents, and two sisters.
Franklin Reyes Marrero (1975 - 2014)
Born in Havana, Franklin Reyes began his career as a warehouse employee at the Cuban state-run newspaper Juventud Rebelde. After studying photography with Cuba's official journalists' association he became a professional photojournalist. The paper would send him to Mexico and Venezuela before he came to work for AP in 2009. Reyes was returning from an assignment west of Havana in November 2014 when his car apparently hit a patch of gravel. Police said he lost control of the car, colliding with an oncoming vehicle. Two occupants of the other car also died. "He was an integral part of AP's team in Cuba. His passion and professionalism were exemplary and his energy, talent, and good company will be deeply missed," said AP Director of Photography Santiago Lyon. Reyes is remembered as smart, funny, and dedicated to his wife, Gricell Fernandez Mendez, and other family members. He often presented them with gifts of his images. "His pictures will speak for him forever," said Regional Photo Editor Enric Marti.
Mohamed Ben Khalifa (1983-2019)
Mohamed Ben Khalifa, a free-lance photographer and video journalist who worked frequently for The Associated Press, was killed on Jan. 19, 2019, in the Libyan capital of Tripoli while accompanying a militia on patrol. The group came under missile attack, and Ben Khalifa, 35, was killed by shrapnel. He left behind a wife, Lamya, and a 7-month-old daughter, Rayan.
Ben Khalifa's work for the AP from 2014 included more than 260 photos and scores of videos. His contributions reflected Libya's post-2011 chaos of rival militias fighting for control as well as the humanitarian tragedy of waves of people fleeing North Africa, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa. The country splintered in the aftermath of the Arab Spring uprising that led to the ouster and killing of longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Ben Khalifa was a beloved member of the free-lance community in Tripoli and colleagues considered him to be among Libya’s leading photojournalists.
Libya’s violence was a constant theme in his work. But with his sharp eye for detail, Ben Khalifa also captured attempts by ordinary Libyans to carve out normal lives, such as his photo of a young boy in an embroidered jacket staring into his camera, facing away from rows of men in prayer. AP Executive Editor Sally Buzbee called Ben Khalifa’s photographs “important and impactful” and paid tribute to his courage and dedication in telling his country’s story with humanity.