September 20, 2003 - Seattle Times: Peace Corps Giant Paul Conklin dies in Seattle
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September 20, 2003 - Seattle Times: Peace Corps Giant Paul Conklin dies in Seattle
Peace Corps Giant Paul Conklin dies in Seattle
Read and comment on this story from the Seattle Times that Peace Corps Giant Paul Conklin has died of cancer at age 74 at his home near Beckett Point, Washington. Paul Conklin was the first official photographer of the Peace Corps and renowned for his ability to capture the warmth of the human spirit. Mr. Conklin attended Wayne State University in Michigan, earned a master's degree at Columbia University and was chosen to document the Peace Corps in 1964 after the volunteer agency was formed. He traveled with Shriver around the world, photographing volunteers at work. "Your photos proved in ways more powerful than words that we truly are all God's children and more alike than different," wrote Peace Corps founding director Sargent Shriver in a letter to Mr. Conklin on Aug. 22. Our condolences to family and friends of Paul Conklin on behalf of the Returned Volunteer community. Read the obituary at:
Paul Conklin photographed early years of Peace Corps*
* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.
Paul Conklin photographed early years of Peace Corps
By The Associated Press
PORT TOWNSEND — Paul S. Conklin, the first official photographer of the Peace Corps and renowned for his ability to capture the warmth of the human spirit, has died. He was 74.
Mr. Conklin, who as a freelancer shot the famous photograph of a Vietnam War protester placing a daisy in the barrel of a National Guard soldier's rifle, died Wednesday of cancer at age 74 at his home near Beckett Point west of Port Townsend.
His work was featured in National Geographic, Time magazine and The New York Times, and he twice won first place at the annual White House photography exhibit, said his wife, Ruth Merryman.
"Your photos proved in ways more powerful than words that we truly are all God's children and more alike than different," wrote Peace Corps founding director Sargent Shriver in a letter to Mr. Conklin on Aug. 22.
Mr. Conklin attended Wayne State University in Michigan, earned a master's degree at Columbia University and was chosen to document the Peace Corps in 1964 after the volunteer agency was formed. He traveled with Shriver around the world, photographing volunteers, war protesters and Third World children.
Later, as a freelancer based in Washington, D.C., he collaborated with writer Brent Ashabranner on a series of juvenile nonfiction books about children of vanishing cultures and also wrote and illustrated his own books, including "Michael of Wales."
His photojournalism essays on poverty in Latin American appeared frequently in U.S. Catholic magazine, including "The View from Juarez" last month.
Together with his sons, David and Peter, Mr. Conklin wrote "Land of Yesterday, Land of Tomorrow," a book based on their travels through central Asia.
After Mr. Conklin and Merryman moved to Port Townsend in 1995 for the scenery and bird watching, he often brought his camera to community events and did volunteer photography for the police, Jefferson General Hospital, Northwest Maritime Center, the Port Townsend Film Festival and the Centrum arts and music festivals.
In addition to his wife, survivors include a sister, Katherine Green of San Francisco, and a grandson.
A community memorial service and photographic display is planned Oct. 12 at the USO building at Fort Worden State Park.
Copyright © 2003 The Seattle Times Company
Paul Conklin's Photographs of Peace Corps Volunteers
In a laboratory at Belize Tech, Andre Colpitts explains the properties of a chemical to one of his students.
Dairy technologist David P. Hoyer (left) explains the operation of a cheese vat to Turkish Cypriot workers in a cooperative dairy plant on the outskirts of Nicosia.
Marching along with their instructor, Willie Douglas, high school students who belong to a vocational agriculture program head for their classroom - the fields. The scene is in Katlang, a remote mountain village in West Pakistan, near the Afghan border.
Gary Schaller teaches English in a small crowded classroom in Benepat, sixteen miles from Katmandu, Nepal.
Dennis Shaner and helper repair a damaged catepillar tractor in the town of Pont-du-Fahs Tunisia, where he taught a course in diesel mechanics.
In her clinic in the town of Corioco Bolivia, Priscilla Bauguess treats an Indian woman for an ear infection.
Joyce Thorkleson and her students outside the demonstration school of Katmandu's College of Education.
Martha Iwaski stands in the doorway of a barriada school in the coastal city of Chimbote Peru.
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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Photography; Obituaries; History
By deanmichaelcarlo on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 11:23 am: Edit Post
Thank you for all the good works you folks perform in the world.
I just read the obituary of Paul Conklin, which included some of his pictures which apparently were also included in the Seattle paper. Imagine my surprise to see in the first picture a Peace Corps Volunteer whom I knew well in undergraduate university at Phillips University, Enid, Oklahoma (since closed). Andre was a talented, bright soul, witty and urbane, but also quite interested in the world about him. He epitomized the best of Phillips graduates. Unfortunately his life was cut short. He was reportedly shot to death on the streets of Washington, D.C. several years after the picture in 1964, by an unknown assailant. The story which made the rounds of his friends was that he actually was a CIA operative and was assassinated by an enemy he made while on assignment. With the recent "outing" of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife as a CIA operative by someone within the Bush administration, any other PCV might also be endangered if there is suspicion their activities might include covert matters.
While attending Wayne State University from 1948 to 1952 I dated a tall classmate from my Spanish class, whose name was Paul Conklin. I am wondering if he is the same Paul Conklin who achieved so many wonderful accomplishments in his life! I would like to think that it is, but I don't know how I could corroborate that. The Paul Conklin I knew was from New Mexico, I think, and he was living with his aunt on Byron street in Detroit.
As an early Peace Corps staff member, I know of Paul Conklin's genius behind a lens, of course. But, I'd like to add something that may be little known about him: He was a genius on the mound, too. We served together on the Peace Corps softball team, which played in more than one league in Washington, and we usually won. He was our lead pitcher, and I was the catcher, so I had a special vantage point. He was one of the best pitchers I ever caught. Tom Gee
Belize RPCV Andre B. Colpitts (in top photo) died in May, 1976
From the Phillips University obituary page at:
Andre B. Colpitts in the top photograph died May, 1976.