Photojournalist Dith Pran was born in Siem Reap, Cambodia on September 23, 1942. He learned French in school and taught himself English. He had numerous jobs including working as a translator for the United States Military Assistance Command, with a British film crew, as a hotel receptionist and as an interpreter for foreign journalists. His journalistic partner was Sydney H. Schanberg, a Times correspondent assigned to Southeast Asia. During their time in Cambodia, Pran translated, took notes and pictures, and helped Schanberg maneuver the country. After the fall of Phnom Penh in 1975, Schanberg was forced to the leave the country and Dith became a prisoner of the Cambodian Communists. He survived beatings, backbreaking labor and a diet of a tablespoon of rice a day for more than four years before escaping over the Thai border on October 3, 1979. Schanberg wrote about Pran in newspaper articles and in a 1980 cover article titled The Death and Life of Dith Pran that appeared in The New York Times Magazine. In 1985, a book by the same title was published and the story became the basis for the movie The Killing Fields. He moved to New York and became a photographer for The Times. He also spoke about the Cambodian genocide to student groups and other organizations. In 1997, he published a book of essays by Cambodians who had witnessed the genocide as children. He died of pancreatic cancer on March 30, 2008.