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article imageReuters star photographer Behrakis dead at 58: press body

By AFP     Mar 3, 2019 in World

Award-winning Reuters photographer Yannis Behrakis has died aged 58 after a battle with cancer, Greece's foreign press association said Sunday.

Athens-born Behrakis, who worked at Reuters for more than 30 years and died on Saturday, was "one of the best photographers of his generation", the press body said in a statement.

"His pictures shaped the very way in which we perceived events, from the war in Afghanistan and Sierra Leone to the refugee crisis and the Arab Spring."

Prestigious awards included the World Press Photo in 2000, Bayeux-Calvados in 2016, and Photographer of the Year by the Guardian in 2015.

The married father of two also led a Reuters team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2016 for coverage of the migration crisis, which erupted the previous year.

"Few people abandon everything to capture the truth. Yannis Behrakis defended truth in the four corners of the world," Greece's junior minister for media Lefteris Kretsos said in a statement.

In 2000, Behrakis had narrowly escaped death in Sierra Leone in an ambush by gunmen that killed Reuters colleague Kurt Schork and AP cameraman Miguel Gil Moreno.

One of his most striking pictures from Europe's migration crisis is of a Syrian father carrying and kissing his daughter as he walked towards Greece's border with North Macedonia in the rain.

"This picture proves that there are superheroes after all," Behrakis later explained. "He doesn't wear a red cape, but he has a black plastic cape made out of garbage bags. For me, this represents the universal father and the unconditional love of father to daughter."

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