Hetherington won several distinguished prizes, including the World Press Photo Award in 2007, for his work covering conflicts over the last decade. He also co-directed "Restrepo", an Oscar-nominated documentary about United States soldiers fighting in Afghanistan.
Human Rights Watch worked with Hetherington on a number of human rights stories over the years, including assignments to Darfur, Chad and Sri Lanka. "Tim Hetherington was much more than a war reporter," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch in a tribute to him. "He had an extraordinary talent for documenting, in compassionate and beautiful imagery, the human stories behind the headlines."
"This is a devastating loss to many of us personally," said Roth. "But it is also a devastating loss to the human rights community. His work has raised the visibility of many of the world's forgotten conflicts. The legacy of his exceptional photographs will serve to inspire those following in his footsteps."
But the people in his pictures were more than subjects, says Nic Bothma, the West Africa chief photographer for European Pressphoto Agency and a friend of Hondros's, in a tribute posted by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). After the war in Liberia ended, he found the militia commander who was the subject of one his more celebrated photos, enrolled him in school and paid for his tuition.
View a slideshow of some of Hondros's images from some of the world's most treacherous spots on CPJ's blog.Two other journalists have been killed this year in the Libyan conflict. Mohammed al-Nabbous, founder of the online Libya Al-Hurra TV, was killed as he was streaming live audio from a battle in Benghazi on 19 March. Cameraman Ali Hassan al-Jaber was shot when his Al Jazeera crew was ambushed near Benghazi on 13 March.
CPJ has documented more than 80 attacks on the press since political unrest erupted in Libya in February. At least six local journalists are missing amid speculation they are in the custody of security forces. One international journalist and two media support workers are also unaccounted for.