Dith Pran's life in war-torn Cambodia was chillingly portrayed in the award-winning documentary, The Killing Fields (1984). During Pran's exile, Schanberg received a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of Cambodia, and he accepted the award on behalf of Pran. In October of 1979 Dith Pran escaped to Thailand and, eventually, to freedom.
In 1979 Pran came to the United States and has been with The New York Times as a photojournalist since his arrival. He is a member of the Asian-American Journalist Association, and was also appointed Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. He has testified numerous times before the subcommittee on East Asian Pacific Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives regarding Cambodian politics and culture.
Dith Pran has dedicated his life to speaking for those who did not survive the Cambodian civil war and for the many who still suffer. He strives to educate all citizens about the horrors associated with holocausts and awaken them to the universal implications of all tragedies. The John Brown Cook Association is sponsoring Mr. Pran's appearance at the Athenaeum.