• Carrie Mitchell

Marie Colvin

"Bravery is not being afraid to be afraid.”

Marie Colvin (January 12, 1956 – February 22, 2012) was an American journalist who worked as a foreign affairs correspondent for the British newspaper The Sunday Times from 1985 until her death in Syria.

Born and raised in New York, in a career spanning more than 30 years, Marie reported from the front lines of war zones around the world and was renowned for her bravery, her tenacity, her skill and her compassion. She received many awards and honors during her career, including the Courage in Journalism Award, the British Press Award and Foreign Press International’s Journalist of the Year Award. Many have called her the “greatest war correspondent of her generation.”

Photo courtesy of Mariecolvin.org

She soon began writing as a staff reporter for United Press International in Trenton, covering local news. By 1984, UPI had named her Paris Bureau Chief, heading up the international news desk. This position provided Marie with her first opportunity to cover the Middle East, and she soon became fascinated by the region's culture, politics and conflicts.

In 1986, she moved to the Sunday Times of London. For the next 26 years, she covered conflicts wherever they broke out, including East Timor, the Balkans, Chechnya, Kosovo, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and Somalia, but she was known especially for her reporting from the Middle East. Marie was on hand to witness events in the Middle East from the Iran-Iraq War in the late 1980’s, through two US wars with Iraq, and ultimately the 2011 revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria.

Marie put enormous physical and creative effort into her work. On many occasions, she faced extreme physical hardship to cover a story. In Sri Lanka in 2001 she had walked for days through the jungle with local guides to evade government troops, when the group came under attack. Marie was struck by shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade, which resulted in the loss of her left eye.

Despite suffering such grave injuries, Marie filed her story on time from her hospital bed, and returned to the front line as soon as she recovered. She wore a black eye-patch from then on, which became her trademark and her badge of honor.

In February 2012, Marie crossed into Syria, ignoring the Syrian government's attempts to prevent foreign journalists from covering the Syrian civil war. She made her way to the city of Homs which was being bombarded by the Syrian Army.

Read about Marie in books "On the front line" and "In Extremis"

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