Tim Page left England at 17 to travel across Europe, the Middle East and to India and Nepal. He found himself in Laos at the time of the civil war and ended up working as a stringer for United Press International. From there he moved on to Saigon where he covered the Vietnam War for the next five years working largely on assignment for Time-Life, UPI, Paris Match and the Associated Press. He also found time to cover the Six-Day War in the Middle East in 1967.
The role of war-photographer suited Page's craving for danger and excitement. He became an iconic photographer of the Vietnam War and his pictures were the visual inspiration for many films of the period. The photo-journalist in Apocalypse Now - played by Dennis Hopper - was based on Page.
The Vietnam War was the first and last war where there was no censorship, the military actively encouraged press involvement and Page went everywhere, covering everything. He was wounded four times, once by "friendly fire" and the last time was when he jumped out of a helicopter to help load the wounded and the person in front of him stepped on a landmine. He was pronounced DOA at the hospital. Extensive Neuro-surgery left him Hemiplegic for a year.
It was while he was recovering in hospital in spring 1970 that he learnt that his best friend, house mate and fellow photographer Sean Flynn, son of Hollywood actor Errol, had gone missing in Cambodia. Throughout the 70’s and 80’s Page’s mission was to discover the fate and final resting place of his friend and to erect a memorial to all those in the media that were either killed or went missing in the war. This led him to found the IndoChina Media Memorial Foundation and was the genesis for the book ‘REQUIEM’. With his friend Horst Faas, photo editor for Associated Press and double Pulitzer Prize winner, they co-edited the book and commemorated the work of all the dead and the missing, from all nations, who were lost in the thirty-year struggle for liberation. REQUIEM the exhibition is now on permanent display at the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City.
Recovery for Tim also came in the form of involvement with America's Vietnam Vets who were worse off than himself. He became a "carer" for amputees and traumatically shocked and stressed young men whose future was now looking very bleak as the government of the day abandoned them. One of these young men was Ron Kovic, former Marine Corps sergeant and author of Born on the 4th of July, who was later portrayed by Tom Cruise in the film released in 1989. The '70s also found Tim freelancing for music magazines such as Crawdaddy and Rolling Stone. This enabled him to add images of rock 'n' roll legends to his archive.
Tim Page is the subject of many documentaries, two films and the author of ten books. He spent 5 months in 2009 as the Photographic Peace Ambassador for the UN in Afghanistan and is the recipient of many awards. He was recently named one of the '100 Most Influential Photographers Of All Time'.
His interest and passion now is covering the aftermath of war and bringing the world’s attention to the plight of the innocent victims – the bystanders. He returns regularly to Viet Nam and Cambodia to run photo workshops, do assignments and to photograph the mines - and the maimed that are still being injured 30 years on and the still, devastating effects of Agent Orange.
He spent the last years of his life in Australia, and worked as an adjunct professor at Griffith University. He also covered East Timor and The Solomon Islands. Sadly, he passed away in August of 2022 after a short battle with cancer.