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Dith Pran
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    (September 27, 1942-March 30, 2008)
    Born in Siem Reap, Cambodia
    Interpreter for New York Times reporters covering the war in Cambodia
    Survived four years in a Khmer Rouge forced labor camp (1975-79)
    Escaped to Thailand (1979)
    Became a photojournalist for the New York Times
    Became a US citizen (1986)
    Subject of 'The Death and Life of Dith Pran' by Sidney Schanberg (1980)
    Portrayed by Haing S. Ngor in 'The Killing Fields' (1984)
    Wrote 'Children of Cambodia's Killing Fields' (1997)
    Founded the Dith Pran Holocaust Awareness Project
    Although he sent his wife and children out of the country just before Phnom Penh fell, he stayed behind, thinking the situation would calm down after the Communist takeover.
    He was divorced twice.
    He named his sons Titony, Titonath and Titonel.
    He kept Schanberg and other American reporters from being executed by convincing Khmer Rouge soldiers that they were French.
    He survived years of beatings, backbreaking labor and rations of a tablespoon of rice a day.
    His three brothers and a sister were murdered by the Khmer Rouge, his father starved to death and his mother eventually died from the effects of malnutrition.
    After Pol Pot died unpunished, he observed, 'The Jewish people's search for justice did not end with the death of Hitler and the Cambodian people's search for justice doesn't end with Pol Pot.'
    New York Times executive editor Bill Keller called him 'a journalist and a hero,' adding, 'That last word is not one I use lightly.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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