Excerpt from the 1968 Dateline for The Robert Capa Gold Medal 1967:
Robert Capa gold medal award for superlative still photography requiring courage and enterprise abroad.
David Douglas Duncan, for his Life feature (photos and text) “Inside the Cone of Fire – Con Thien, Vietnam.”
David Douglas Duncan has come carelessly close to becoming a legend in his own lifetime, especially to his fellow photographers. The contribute contribution to Life of the pages of stark, magnificent scenes that comprise “Inside the Cone of Fire – Con Thien,” brings him the Robert Capa Gold Medal.
This particular prized trophy of the OPC was given, the judges made emphatic, not only for “superlatives photography” combined with courage, that is the basis for bestowal; but also plays faculty for injecting into these pictures something of his own emotions, in the act of clicking his shutter. He has comedy pointed out, succeeded in drawing the viewer in, along with himself and his subjects.
It was another war–in Korea–that first put Duncan’s name on the OPC award listen 1950 and again in 1952. In the years that have passed since then he has focused his lens on beauty instead of ugliness: on the art of Picasso, the grandeur of landscapes, the crown jewels of Russia, the wandering faces of children. The 17-year-old memories of American troops under fire, a marine he had known of safety at seeing, routed him last spring from his home in southern France ask Life and ABC News–which also televised his photographs–for an assignment Vietnam. He got it.
His pictures speak for him, as does the text he supplied for them.