Françoise Demulder, French war photographer, dies age 61

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Friday, September 5, 2008

Françoise Demulder, the French war photographer who was the first woman to win the World Press Photo of the Year award has died at the age of 61. The death was caused by a heart attack.

The World Press Photo website says that "Demulder stated at the time that she hated war, but felt compelled to document how it's always the innocent who suffer, while the powerful get richer and richer." This is why the organization presented her with the award in 1977.

During her career Demulder reported on wars in Vietnam, Palestine, Cambodia and Lebanon. Her photograph of refugees in Beirut won her the press photography award.

Jonathan Randall, a Washington Post correspondent who knew Demulder, paid his tributes to the photographer. "This was a time when there were beginning to be women correspondents but there were relatively few women photographers," he said. "When she won the prize it was really quite something. It showed that women were capable of doing what had hitherto been a man's occupation."

Christine Albanel, the French culture minister, described Françoise Demulder as "an artist and witness of our time."