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Journalist and historian Stanley Karnow passes away

Journalist and historian Stanley Karnow passes away

THE journalist and historian Stanley Karnow has passed away. He was 87.

Mr. Karnow will be best remembered for his book Vietnam: A History, which was published 1983. The book reflected the journalist’s long association with the conflict. He had reported from Vietnam in the late 1950s when America’s involvement in the south of the country was still confined to a small number of advisers.

His book remains the definitive work on the conflict which was to cost many thousands of lives. Mr. Karnow was also closely involved in bringing the highly successful Vietnam: A Television History to fruition. The documentary series was first broadcast in 1983 to critical acclaim.

During his career, Mr. Karnow had worked as a correspondent for a number prestigious publications including Time and the Washington Post.

After Vietnam, he turned to America’s involvement in the Philippines for his next book project. His history, In Our Image: America’s Empire in the Philippines also spawned a documentary TV series.

Recognition for his work came in 1990 when Mr. Karnow won the Pulitzer Prize for history.

His great interest in Asia had been engendered during his service in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He had spent a long period during his service living in the mountains between Asia and India where he worked as weather observer and cryptographer.

After graduating from Harvard in 1947, the young Karnow moved to Paris where he studied at the Sorbonne. Only intending to stay in the city for a few months he ended up living there for ten years, during which he got married, although the relationship was to end in divorce in 1955. He wrote about his experiences in the French capital in the book Paris in the Fifties. During his time there he worked for Time and interviewed such personalities as Ernest Hemingway (see below), Audrey Hepburn and Christian Dior.

Mr. Karnow passed away at his home in Potomac, Maryland. His second wife, Annette, passed away in 2009. He is survived by three children.

To view an interview in which Mr. Karnow talks about meeting Ernest Hemingway in Paris, click here.

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