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Kevin Carter (1960-1994) was an award-winning photojournalist from South Africa, whose image of a starving Sudanese toddler stalked by a vulture won him a Pulitzer Prize in 1994.
But prestigious as the Pulitzer is, it did not bring Carter much happiness. What it did bring was a lot of controversy and a host of personal accusations. Some of Carter’s colleagues claimed that Carter had broken the photojournalist’s cardinal rule of recording the moment as it happens by setting up the shot for maximum shock value. However, it was newspapers from around the world that really took him to task. An editorial in the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times said in print what many others were thinking: “The man adjusting his lens to take just the right frame of her suffering might just as well be a predator, another vulture on the scene.” Carter, who had suffered for years from depression and whose drug use had been increasing in the early nineties, went into an emotional tailspin following the uproar over his Pulitzer award. On July 27, 1994, Carter committed suicide by running a garden hose from the exhaust pipe of his red Nissan truck into the passenger side window, and he died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
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