Marcus Yam has been cemented as the first Malaysian-born journalist to have been honored with the Pulitzer for photography. The Los Angeles Times foreign correspondent and staff photographer was awarded the prize for his poignant, searing pictures documenting the fall of Kabul to Taliban fighters last year following the USA’s pullout from Afghanistan.
The pictures taken were described as showing “unspeakable tragedy and abiding emotion despite a manhandling by one of the insurgents, the near-constant menace of other fighters and the abundant technical hurdles of transmitting images out of a war zone” and demonstrated “the human costs of the historic change in the country,” according to a report by the LA Times.
A Kuala Lumpur native, Marcus became a photographer after leaving a career in aerospace engineering with the sole purpose of taking viewers to the frontlines of conflict, struggle and intimacy.
The 38 year old joined the LA Times in 2014, and was previously recognised with an Emmy Award for news and documentary, World Press Photo Award, Dart Award for Trauma Coverage, Scripps Howard Visual Journalism Award and Picture of the Year International's Newspaper Photographer of the Year Award.