Malcolm Browne

Malcolm Browne

Browne in 1964
Born Malcolm Wilde Browne[1]
(1931-04-17)April 17, 1931
New York City, New York
Died August 27, 2012(2012-08-27) (aged 81)
New Hampshire
Nationality American
Education Swarthmore College
Occupation Journalist, photographer
Spouse(s) Le Lieu Browne
Children Timothy Di Leo Browne
Wendy Sanderson
Family sister, two brothers, all younger

Malcolm Wilde Browne (April 17, 1931  August 27, 2012) was an American journalist and photographer. His best known work was the award-winning photograph of the self-immolation of Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức in 1963.[2]

Early life

Browne was born and raised in New York City. His mother was a Quaker with fervently anti-war opinions, his father a Roman Catholic and an architect. Browne attended Friends Seminary, a Quaker school in Manhattan from kindergarten through to twelfth grade. He attended Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and studied chemistry.[1][2]


Browne's career in journalism began when he was drafted during the Korean War,[3] and assigned to the Pacific edition of the Stars and Stripes where he worked for two years. He worked for the Middletown Times Herald-Record,[4] then joined the Associated Press (AP), working in Baltimore from 1959 to 1961, at which point he was made chief correspondent for Indochina. On June 11, 1963 he took his famous photograph of the death of Thích Quảng Đức. After having won a Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting[5] and receiving many job offers, he eventually left the AP in 1965.

He worked for ABC TV for about a year but became dissatisfied with television journalism.[1] He worked freelance for several years, and did a year's fellowship at Columbia University with the Council on Foreign Relations. In 1968, he joined The New York Times, and in 1972 became its correspondent for South America. Before becoming a journalist Browne worked as a chemist,[3] and in 1977, he became a science writer, serving as a senior editor for Discover. He returned to the Times in 1985. He covered the Persian Gulf War in 1991.


Browne died on Monday August 27, 2012, of complications from Parkinson's disease.[2] He was 81.

Awards and recognition

Thích Quảng Đức in the full photo of his self-immolation, during which he remained perfectly still.


  • Browne, Malcolm W. Muddy Boots and Red Socks, Random House: New York, 1993, ISBN 0-8129-6352-0 (autobiography) [1]
  • Saigon's Finale (article on U.S. military defeat in Vietnam)
  • The New Face of War (Bobbs-Merrill,Indianapolis, 1965) ISBN 0-553-25894-X. Ground-breaking account of tactics in the Vietnam War.


  1. 1 2 3 4 Brian Lamb (1993). "Video interview". C-SPAN,. Retrieved 2010-01-12.
  2. 1 2 3 "Malcolm Brown death". AP. 2012-08-27. Retrieved 2012-01-17. Malcolm Wilde Browne was born in New York on April 17, 1931. He graduated from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania with a degree in chemistry. Working in a lab when drafted in 1956, he was sent to Korea as a tank driver, but by chance got a job writing for a military newspaper, and from that came a decision to trade science for a career in journalism.
  3. 1 2 "Reporting America at War . The Reporters . Malcolm W. Browne". Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
  4. Burkhart, Wade; undated; About us, Times Herald-Record; retrieved August 29, 2009.
  5. 1964 Awards at; retrieved September 12, 2015
  6. "Malcolm W. Browne - World Press Photo". Retrieved 2008-06-14.
  7. "Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society: Malcolm W. Browne". Retrieved 2008-06-14.
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