Fiftieth Anniversary of Vietnamese Monk Setting Himself on Fire

On June 11, 1963, Thich Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk, set himself on fire at a busy intersection in Saigon.

Photographer Malcolm Browne was working on assignment for AP and photographed this iconic image of the Buddhist monk sitting lotus style as he doused himself with gasoline and quietly meditated as he burned to death.

Browne is the only western reporter to have photographed this first and most famous act of self-immolation. The sequence of images he captured were quickly distributed throughout the world, spreading shock waves and raising the awareness of the persecution against Buddhist monks.

Browne went on to win the World Press Photo of the Year award in 1963 as well as the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 1964.

Thich Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk, burns himself to death on a Saigon street, June 11, 1963, to protest alleged persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government. (Malcolm Browne/AP Photo)

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