My Journey to Angola

My first African experience began at age 17 when I won the 1974 Kodak/Scholastic National Photography scholarship which included a studies program to Kenya and Tanzania. For a teenager, it was an eye-opening revelation. Back then I was working an illegible night shift cooking burgers at Jack in the Box while going to high school. It was a tough gig but it made a new Nikon lens possible every couple of weeks.

Jeff Widener: The Photographer Behind the Iconic ‘Tank Man’ Photo

Chances are that in your lifetime, you've seen the iconic "Tank Man" photograph. The year was 1989. A man standing alone before a line of tanks on Chang'an Avenue near Tiananmen Square. It's a picture that's inspired people all over the world. It's also been heavily suppressed in the very country it was taken.

Jeff Widener is the man behind the photograph, which he says was a "lucky shot". What the world doesn't know, however, is that Widener is so much more than the photographer behind one iconic image. He's spent years in Asia chronicling the stories and struggles of people.

The Story Behind the Iconic “Tank Man” Tiananmen Square Photo

When the Chinese military moved into Beijing's Tiananmen Square on June 5, 1989 to forcibly remove pro-democracy protestors, an anonymous man famously decided to place himself in front of the long column of Chinese tanks that were rumbling into the area. Photos and videos of the incident were immediately published and broadcast around the world. AP photographer Jeff Widener's "Tank Man" photo, shown above, is widely considered to be one of the most iconic photos of the 20th century.

The Famous Tiananmen Square Tank Man Photo From Slightly Different Views

Most people are familiar with the famous Tank Man photo taken by AP Photographer Jeff Widener as tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square on June 5th, 1989. Taken from a 6th floor balcony of the Beijing hotel, the iconic version we've come to know is only one of 4 very similar photos taken that same moment.