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Bill Biggart 1947-2001 April 11, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Gaza, Israel.
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Gaza City, 1994

10:28:24 a.m. on September 11th, 2001 was the precise second that photojournalist Bill Biggart took the final shot of his life. He took his last breath moments later when the North Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed upon him. Four days later, searchers found his body, his burnt-edged press cards, his three demolished cameras, six rolls of film, and one small undisturbed compact flash card carrying almost 150 digital images. It was the remains of one horrifying day and one extraordinary life.

As a spot news photographer, Bill Biggart chose to cover stories that most interested him, not the ones an editor selected. He focused on presenting the minority side – the Palestinians in the Middle East, the Catholic/IRA “troubles” in Ireland, and the issues of natives, blacks and gays in America.

About the Photograph:

The Palestinian Intafadah uprising in early 1988 consumed Bill. He would return regularly to Israel and Palestine for nearly ten years, sensing it was an immense and important story. While covering the plight of the Palestinian people, he was arrested by Israeli police and beaten for “being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Editors note. I’ve chosen Bill Biggart’s work today to honor him and note the opening of the Newseum in Washington DC. Bill’s photographs from September 11th are part of a permanent exhibition there. The Newseum offers visitors an experience that blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits.

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