JAKARTA (AFP) – The photographer who snapped the defining image of China’s Tiananmen Square crackdown – a solitary man defiantly blocking the path of a column of tanks – has died in Indonesia, according to United States (US) officials.
American authorities confirmed the death of 64-year-old Charlie Cole in Bali, where the Texan had been a long-time resident.
“We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss,” a state department official told AFP. Cole won the 1990 World Press Photo award for his picture of a man in a white shirt, carrying a shopping bag in each hand, striding out into the road the day after troops clashed with pro-democracy protesters in the heart of Beijing.
The man, whose identity remains unknown, stopped in front of a column of tanks and armoured vehicles stretching far down the road, later climbing onto the vehicle to engage in a conversation with one of the tank crew as gunshots crackled in the air.
“Tank Man” has become one of the defining images of the 20th Century.