MEDIA

Slain NPR Photojournalist Remembered Through His Most Evocative Photos

The Emmy Award-winner worked with NPR for nearly a decade.
NPR photographer David Gilkey was killed in Afghanistan.
NPR photographer David Gilkey was killed in Afghanistan.

The memory of NPR photojournalist David Gilkey, who was killed on assignment in Afghanistan on Sunday, lives on through his most stirring works.

Gilkey, 50, died alongside NPR's Afghan interpreter Zabihullah Tamanna, 38, when the Afghan army unit they were traveling with came under attack.

The celebrated journalist put a human face on some of the world's greatest devastations and conflicts, from famine in Somalia to apartheid atrocities in South Africa. 

"It's not just reporting. It's not just taking pictures," Gilkey told NPR after covering the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. "It's, 'Do those visuals, do the stories, do they change somebody's mind enough to take action?'"

Scroll down to take a look at some of Gilkey's most evocative photos:

  • Volunteer workers at a Community Care Center for people suspected of having Ebola in northern Sierra Leone put on their
    David Gilkey/NPR
    Volunteer workers at a Community Care Center for people suspected of having Ebola in northern Sierra Leone put on their Personal Protective Equipment before entering the compound where the patients are being held.
  • A worker stands by dividers to separate patients in an Ebola treatment facility under construction in the Port Loko district
    David Gilkey/NPR
    A worker stands by dividers to separate patients in an Ebola treatment facility under construction in the Port Loko district of Sierra Leone, in November 2014.
  • Health workers collect the body of a cholera victim in Petionville, Haiti, in February 2011. The disease first appeared on th
    David Gilkey/NPR
    Health workers collect the body of a cholera victim in Petionville, Haiti, in February 2011. The disease first appeared on the island in October 2010, likely introduced by U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal, possibly a single individual.
  • Parishioners from the Saint Louis King of France Catholic church in Port-au-Prince sing and cry as they dedicate a monument t
    David Gilkey/NPR
    Parishioners from the Saint Louis King of France Catholic church in Port-au-Prince sing and cry as they dedicate a monument they built on the site of the mass graves of those who died in the 2010 earthquake. More than 25,000 people were killed.
  • Alex Mertulus, 10, the son of Magarette Brutus, stands in the mud in the Mais Gate Camp after heavy rains flooded the area in
    David Gilkey/NPR
    Alex Mertulus, 10, the son of Magarette Brutus, stands in the mud in the Mais Gate Camp after heavy rains flooded the area in the middle of the night in Port-au-Prince. Quake survivors were trying to stay dry and dig out of the mud in the tent camps of the Haitian capital, a warning of fresh misery for the 1 million homeless living on the streets and in IDP camps one month after the devastating earthquake.
  • After Haiti's earthquake, a man stands on a rooftop yelling out for any sign of life from his missing relatives in a Port-au-
    David Gilkey/NPR
    After Haiti's earthquake, a man stands on a rooftop yelling out for any sign of life from his missing relatives in a Port-au-Prince neighborhood.
  • Children who live along the banks of India's Yamuna River in ramshackle huts hunt for coins and anything valuable they can co
    David Gilkey/NPR
    Children who live along the banks of India's Yamuna River in ramshackle huts hunt for coins and anything valuable they can collect. The waters are polluted with heavy metals, raw sewage and industrial waste, but they are also a lifeline for scavenging families.
  • Men watch the fires of a cremation along the banks of the Yamuna River against the backdrop of the Wazirabad Barrage and floa
    David Gilkey/NPR
    Men watch the fires of a cremation along the banks of the Yamuna River against the backdrop of the Wazirabad Barrage and floating industrial waste. From the story "Can India's Sacred But 'Dead' Yamuna River Be Saved?" 2016. 
  • Marine Lance Cpl. Anthony Espinoza wipes the sweat out of his eyes at the end of a daylong patrol of the Sangin District in s
    David Gilkey/NPR
    Marine Lance Cpl. Anthony Espinoza wipes the sweat out of his eyes at the end of a daylong patrol of the Sangin District in southern Afghanistan in May 2011.
  • Liam, 2, accompanies his dad, Jake Romo, during rehab at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. Romo, 22, lost both his legs
    David Gilkey/NPR
    Liam, 2, accompanies his dad, Jake Romo, during rehab at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. Romo, 22, lost both his legs while serving with the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, in Sangin, Afghanistan. From the story "For Wounded Marines, The Long, Hard Road Of Rehab," 2011.
  • Storm clouds pass above a wintery landscape on the shores of Lake Baikal in central Russia. Baikal is the world's largest and
    David Gilkey/NPR
    Storm clouds pass above a wintery landscape on the shores of Lake Baikal in central Russia. Baikal is the world's largest and oldest lake and holds close to 20 percent of the world's fresh water.
  • Afghan commandos line up outside the walls of a mock compound before storming in to clear the area. "My mission is to advise
    David Gilkey/NPR
    Afghan commandos line up outside the walls of a mock compound before storming in to clear the area. "My mission is to advise and teach my non-commissioned officers and make sure they're getting enough equipment, they're getting enough training," Faiz Mohammed Wafa, one of the leaders of the Afghan commandos says.
  • U.S. Army Spc. Jeffrey Ward, a medic with the 1st Cavalry Division, 1st Brigade, 1-12 Cav. from Fort Hood, Texas, stands guar
    David Gilkey/Getty Images
    U.S. Army Spc. Jeffrey Ward, a medic with the 1st Cavalry Division, 1st Brigade, 1-12 Cav. from Fort Hood, Texas, stands guard in a haze of smoke during a cordon and search in a neighborhood outside of Sadr City on Aug. 15, 2004 in Baghdad, Iraq.
  • Omar Al-Awad holds his daughter as they walk home in Toledo, Ohio, where they were resettled after fleeing Syria and living i
    David Gilkey/NPR
    Omar Al-Awad holds his daughter as they walk home in Toledo, Ohio, where they were resettled after fleeing Syria and living in a Jordanian refugee camp. From the story "Among The Lucky Few: Syrian Family Rebuilds In America's Heartland," 2015.
  • Bravo Company's Pvt. Cody Lee Ensley walks through the safety of the gates at an American base after a daylong fierce attack
    David Gilkey/NPR
    Bravo Company's Pvt. Cody Lee Ensley walks through the safety of the gates at an American base after a daylong fierce attack by insurgents near Payendi, Afghanistan. From the story "Signs Of Traction In U.S. Fight Against Afghan Taliban," 2010.
  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai held a rally in a remote village, where he struck a deal with an influential religious leader.
    David Gilkey/NPR
    Afghan President Hamid Karzai held a rally in a remote village, where he struck a deal with an influential religious leader. Thousands gathered for the campaign event. From the story "Afghan President Karzai Rallies Support," 2009.
  • These Afghan girls are the lucky ones: They've been able to stay in school while many of their peers have dropped out. <i>Fro
    David Gilkey/NPR
    These Afghan girls are the lucky ones: They've been able to stay in school while many of their peers have dropped out. From the story "Meet The Cool Girls At A High School In Kabul: #15Girls," 2015.
  • A girl stands in the middle of a poppy field as Marines pass by on patrol. <i>From the story "<a href="http://www.npr.org/sec
    David Gilkey/NPR
    A girl stands in the middle of a poppy field as Marines pass by on patrol. From the story "In Afghanistan, Flowers Call The Shots," 2011.
  • Local election officials escort donkeys carrying election materials on the way to the village of Quali Kuana in Badakhshan pr
    David Gilkey/NPR
    Local election officials escort donkeys carrying election materials on the way to the village of Quali Kuana in Badakhshan province in Afghanistan. From the story "Donkeys Deliver The Vote To Rural Afghanistan," 2009. 
  • Velvet Eyes, a pet reindeer belonging to Carl Emmons, stands in the back of a pickup truck outside a market and gas station i
    David Gilkey/NPR
    Velvet Eyes, a pet reindeer belonging to Carl Emmons, stands in the back of a pickup truck outside a market and gas station in Nome, Alaska. From the story "Dashing Through The Snow ... With A Reindeer In A Pickup Truck," 2013.
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