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Requiem - Robert Jackson Ellison Portrait


Born: July 6, 1944 in Ames, Iowa 
Died: March 6, 1968 near Khe Sanh,  Vietnam 
Graduating from the University of Florida, where he switched his major from herpetology to photography, he went on to photograph the march of Dr. Martin Luther King from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery for EBONY magazine. He then went on to cover other civil rights marches. 

Ellison arrived in Vietnam for the 1968 Tet offensive, and bribed his way onto a helicopter headed for Khe Sanh with a case of beer and a box of cigars.

A month after Ellison's C-123 cargo plane was shot down, attempting to take off from Khe Sanh, Dr. King was assassinated. EBONY eulogized both men in an editorial describing Ellison as "the young white photographer who lived free of prejudice, full of understanding and respectful of the rights of men."

Published after he died, Ellison's NEWSWEEK photographs posthumously won him the Overseas Press Club's award for best coverage from abroad.

Bob Ellison and the Marines on that fatal flight are buried in a mass grave in a military cemetery in Missouri.

(Requiem / Dirck Halstead )

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