Dith Pran was the Cambodian journalist whose ordeal in the Khmer Rouge death regime was depicted in the 1984 film "The Killing Fields" and, earlier, described in the book by New York Times correspondent Sydney Schanberg, "The Death and Life of Dith Pran.” Schanberg reported Dith's death Sunday in New Jersey of pancreatic cancer. Dith, or "Mr. Dith" in NYT style, was Schanberg's translator and reporting assistant in Cambodia until the fall of Phnom Penh in 1975. The communists exiled him to the countryside, where two million died or were killed, and Dith was not heard from again until escaping to Thailand in 1979 and rejoining Schanberg. The New York Times hired Dith as a photographer in 1980, and in 1986 he became a U.S. citizen. Dith continued to be a leader in the U.S. Cambodian community and published a book, "Children of Cambodia's Killing Fields: Memories by Survivors." The late Haing Ngor won an Oscar for best actor for his depiction of Dith.
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