Celebrated photo editor John Morris dies at 100

John Morris, a celebrated US-born editor who commissioned and published some of the most iconic photographs of the 20th century, died in Paris on Friday, Magnum Photos said. He was 100.

John Morris's career spanned some of the most turbulent events of the last century
John Morris's career spanned some of the most turbulent events of the last century (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP)

John Morris, a celebrated US-born editor who commissioned and published some of the most iconic photographs of the 20th century, died in Paris on Friday, Magnum Photos said. He was 100.

In an extraordinary career that spanned some of the most turbulent events of the last century, Morris worked for publications that included Life, Magnum, The Washington Post, The New York Times and National Geographic.

He edited and oversaw the publication of Robert Capa's historic images of the 1944 D-Day Allied landings in Normandy while photo editor commissioning photographs from the front throughout World War II for Life magazine in London.

After a post-war stint at Ladies' Home Journal in New York, he became executive editor at Magnum, dispatching the agency's photographers across the globe to cover some of the most important stories of the time.

During the height of the Vietnam War he was picture editor at The New York Times from 1967 to 1973.

While at the Times, he successfully lobbied for a photograph of a Saigon police chief shooting a suspected Vietcong insurgent in the head -- which became one of the most iconic images of the war -- to be published on the front page.

He also witnessed first hand the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in Los Angeles in June 1968.

"The cries of admiration changed to hysterical screams as the shots -- muffled by the crowd noise -- penetrated the consciousness of the bystanders," he reported in a front page account for the Times.

A devoted Quaker and lifelong pacifist, Morris was born in New Jersey on December 7, 1916 and grew up in Chicago. He died at a hospital near his home in the French capital, Magnum Photos said.