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Chris Hondros majored in English in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at NC State and graduated in 1993. He went on to complete a Masters degree in Visual Communications at Ohio University before becoming a staff photographer for Getty Images. He was killed on the morning of April 20, 2011, while photographing in Misrata, Libya.
Hondros was born in New York City to immigrant Greek and German parents (who were child refugees after World War II) and grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina. As a professional war photographer he worked in most of the world’s major conflict zones of the last two decades, including Kosovo, Angola, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Kashmir, the West Bank, Iraq, and Liberia. His work appeared on the covers of Newsweek and The Economist, and on the front pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.
On Wednesday, April 20, Business Insider broke the news that Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros had been killed in Libya. Hetherington was an Oscar nominated film director who had made the award winning film Restrepo. Two other photographers working with them were wounded in the same attack. Hetherington had tweeted the previous day: “In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO.”
Hondros received dozens of awards, including top honors from World Press Photo in Amsterdam, the National Pictures of the Year Competition, Visa Pour l’Image in France, and the John Faber Award from the Overseas Press Club in New York. In 2004 he was a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his work in Liberia, and in 2006 he was awarded the Robert Capa Gold Medal, war photography’s highest honor, for “exceptional courage and enterprise” in his work from Iraq. In 2007 he was named a “Hero of Photography” by American Photo magazine for his ongoing coverage of the Iraq war, and in 2008 he was a National Magazine Award finalist for his photo essay, “A Window on Baghdad.”
Chris Hondros had a previous solo exhibition of his photography at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design in the fall of 2005. He will long be missed by all his friends here at NC State.