Malcolm Browne, who photographed Thich Quang Duc’s self-immolation, dies at 81

Browne's image of Thich Quang Duc's self-immolation, shown here on an album cover, became one of the most iconic images of the 20th century.

Malcolm Browne, the Associated Press photographer who captured the image of Vietnamese monk Thich Quang Duc’s self-immolation on a Saigon street in 1963, died yesterday at the age of 81.

Brown’s iconic photo of the monk engulfed in flames appeared on newspaper front pages throughout the world and prompted the Kennedy administration to reevaluate its policy in Vietnam. Though numerous journalists had been told to be at the blocked-off intersection on the morning of June 11, 1963 for “something important,” Browne was the only one to show up and document the immolation, which was a protest against South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem’s persecution of Buddhists.

Browne won a Pulitzer Prize for his work in 1964, and later spent 30 years working as a war correspondent for the New York Times.

Browne’s wife, Le Lieu Browne, said he was rushed to the hospital Monday night after experiencing difficulty breathing. He had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2000.