Catherine Leroy, Vietnam, 1967 © Gilles Caron

On July 8, 2006, Catherine Leroy, the intrepid French photojournalist, died in California.

Catherine Leroy,
Vietnam, 1967
© Gilles Caron

Catherine, who went to Vietnam in 1965 at the age of 21 with no experience and transformed herself into one of the most accomplished war photographers of her generation, was a role-model and friend to many at Contact. Her images from conflicts in Southeast Asia, Lebanon, and Iran made her internationally famous, but on a more personal level she was unforgettable: slight but tough, abrasive but funny, she “contained multitudes.” For the last several years, in the midst of a new global conflagration, she made it her business to tirelessly gain exposure for the work and lessons she and her colleagues had brought back from Vietnam — a task in which she was often frustrated, but never defeated.

US Marine Vernon Wike, with his dead comrad. Battle for Hill 881, Vietnam 1967 © Catherine Leroy
For more information about Catherine Leroy and her work, visit her website www.pieceuniquegallery.comFor a tribute to Catherine Leroy by Fred Ritchin, visit