Nguyen Ngoc Luong, 1936-2016

Nguyen Ngoc Luong, a guide, translator, journalist, and photographer who worked closely with New York Times Vietnam War correspondents Gloria Emerson, Malcolm Brown, Fox Butterfield, Ralph Blumenthal, and Peter Shipler, died October 27 in Saigon. He was 79 years old, and remained in Vietnam after the communist takeover in 1975.

Right after the war, Sam Roberts wrote in his NYT obituary, Nguyen Ngoc Luong  wrote to Emerson that “he looked forward to ‘no more killing, no more foreign advisers of all kinds.’ He hoped, he said, that ‘each and every person’ would be allowed to ‘really be himself, to feel really useful.'”

But, Roberts wrote, he “was not allowed to be under the victorious Communist government. He was barred from working as a journalist and placed in what [Shipler] called ‘a kind of occupational cage, ‘ eking out a living by crafting trinkets and teaching English.”




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