Charlie Cole, a native of Bonham, Texas, died in September 2019 at his home in Bali, Indonesia. He was 64.
Charlie’s father, Dr. Newton Cole, has been a long time summer resident of Spring Creek. Newton was a pastor in Tin Cup and the author of local historical books. He resides part-time in Houston.
Charlie gained notoriety as a photographer with his “Tank Man” photo for Newsweek in 1989, which went on to win the World Press Photo Award in 1990.
The photo depicts an unidentified Chinese demonstrator confronting a line of People’s Liberation Army tanks on Chang’an Avenue in Beijing on June 5, 1989. This was one day after the brutal Tiananmen Square killings. He was one of four photographers who captured a similar angle of the man that day.
The photo became a worldwide symbol of peaceful resistance and the defining image of the Chinese pro-democracy movement.
In 2005, Charlie said to BBC News, “I think (the man’s) action captured people’s hearts everywhere, and when the moment came, his character defined the moment rather than the moment defining him. … He made the image; I just took the picture.”