Charlie Cole, the famous photographer who captured the Tank Man on film during the Tiananmen Square protests, died at the age of 64. Charlie won the 1990 World Press Photo award for his famous ‘Tank Man’ picture. He was one of the four photographers who were able to capture the historic scene on June 5, 1989.
American photojournalist, whose career was hugely associated with his iconic Tank Man picture, had been living in Bali, Indonesia, where he took his last breath last week, at the age of 64. He was living in Bali from last 15 years.
The Tank Man image is of one man standing in the way of a column of tanks, fearlessly. The picture was captured a day after thousands of people died, had become a defining image of the 1989 pro-democracy protests. Cole took the iconic picture from the balcony of a hotel, using a telephoto lens for the Newsweek.
RIP Cole, thanks for your contribution to spread out the truth, your photo shocked the world to realise what is #chinazism#TiananmenSquareMassacre #TankMan photographer Charlie Cole dies in Bali https://t.co/d0QDhJokeA 來自 @scmpnews— Ronald Lam, Ph.D, CPE (@rstlam) September 13, 2019
To protect the picture, Cole had hidden the undeveloped film roll in the bathroom as he knew that the Chinese security would later search for him. Shortly after he took it, officials broke through the door and searched the hotel room, but they did not discover the film.
The brave scene captured by all four photographers became an iconic symbol of peaceful resistance across the world. The incident occurred 30 years ago at Beijing's Tiananmen Square, where demonstrators camped for a week but late on June 3, the military moved in and troops opened fire.
China officially claims that 200 civilians and security personnel died, but there has been no publicly released record of deaths. Witnesses and foreign journalists have said the figure could be up to 3,000.