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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Philip Jones Griffiths

Other: Philip Jones-Griffiths 
Dates:  1936, 18 February - 2008, 19 March
Born:  UK, Wales, Rhuddlan
Died:  UK, England, London
Active:  UK / Algeria / Vietnam
Started working for The Manchester Guardian and then The Observer newspapers in the UK. In 1962 he covered the Algerian War but his major impact was during the Vietnam war with his book "Vietnam, Inc." This book is generally seen as one of the documents that changed the perceptions of the American public against the war. He has continued to work on the aftermath of the war in Vietnam producing books on Agent Orange and on Vietnam in general.

Preparing biographies

Biography provided by Focal Press 
Since the 1950s Jones Griffiths has photographed in 140 countries and covered conflicts in Vietnam, Northern Ireland, Africa, and other trouble spots. His Welsh background gave him a natural sympathy for the Davids over the imperial Goliaths of the world. Jones Griffiths’ gruesome photographs, often of ordinary people, in Vietnam Inc. (1971), put a human face on the war. These disturbing images, which contrasted the extreme differences between the civilian and the military, helped arouse the ethical validity of the war in America. Jones Griffiths has a talent for making haunting images of incongruous situations, such as a half-black Vietnamese schoolgirl representing long-term human effects of the war. 
(Author: Robert Hirsch - Independent scholar and writer) 
Michael Peres (Editor-in-Chief), 2007, Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, 4th edition, (Focal Press) [ISBN-10: 0240807405, ISBN-13: 978-0240807409] 
(Used with permission) 

Further research

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Bill Jay
Philip Jones Griffiths 
Family history 
If you are related to this photographer and interested in tracking down your extended family we can place a note here for you to help. It is free and you would be amazed who gets in touch.

Visual indexes

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Internet biographies

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Wikipedia has a biography of this photographer. Go to website
Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website

Internet resources

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Magnum Photos ... 
Probably the world‘s most famous photo agency for photojournalists. Use this site to access the portfolios, biographies of the many notable Magnum photographers. Where there are books by the photographers the website frequently includes the photographs used. 

Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

• Auer, Michele & Michel 1985 Encyclopedie Internationale Des Photographes de 1839 a Nos Jours / Photographers Encylopaedia International 1839 to the present (Hermance, Editions Camera Obscura) 2 volumes [A classic reference work for biographical information on photographers.] 
• Beaton, Cecil & Buckland, Gail 1975 The Magic Eye: The Genius of Photography from 1839 to the Present Day (Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown & Company) p.236 [Useful short biographies with personal asides and one or more example images.] 
• Evans, Martin Marix (Executive ed.) 1995 Contemporary Photographers [Third Edition] (St. James Press - An International Thomson Publishing Company) [Expensive reference work but highly informative.] 
• Lenman, Robin (ed.) 2005 The Oxford Companion to the Photograph (Oxford: Oxford University Press)  [Includes a short biography on Philip Jones Griffiths.] 
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