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In memory of photojournalist Chris Hondros

We are deeply saddened to hear about the death of Getty Images photographer Chris Hondros. He was killed April 20 in Misrata by a rocket-propelled grenade attack while covering the conflict in Libya.

You may not realize how great his contribution has been to the news you absorb on this site every day unless you often read the tiny credit lines that appear on our photographs. His images have appeared on countless stories and slideshows, and he's been one of the top contributors to the "The Week in Pictures" for years.

Getty Images

Getty Images photographer Chris Hondros stands in front of a burning building while on assignment on April 18, 2011, in Misrata, Libya.

We spoke with Chris about his work in 2007. He described the mental makeup required to be a war photographer, likening it to the mental toughness needed to be a doctor or firefighter. But it was also about heart for Chris, as he recalled that photographers and readers alike should recognize that behind most images are human beings. Click on the video below.

2007: Photojournalist Chris Hondros of Getty Images talks about his life behind the camera, and his award-winning pictures from Iraq to Liberia that capture the moments in war-torn countries.

Chris was born in New York City in 1970 and moved to Fayetteville, N.C., as a child. He studied English literature at North Carolina State University and got a master's degree at Ohio University School of Visual Communication. He worked as a photographer for his hometown paper, the Fayetteville Observer, and from there came to New York. He worked for the AP, freelanced and eventually became senior staff photographer at Getty Images.

Chris Hondros / Getty Images

A Liberian militia commander loyal to the government exults after firing a rocket-propelled grenade at rebel forces at a key strategic bridge July 20, 2003 in Monrovia, Liberia.

Chris had covered wars in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. His work has been widely published around the world. In 2003, Chris made a picture of a Liberian government soldier with an RPG launcher that became an iconic document of that civil war. Listen to Hondros recount a funny story that resulted from this world-famous photograph.

His photographs from Liberia, and many others, won top honors in photojournalism, including a Pulitzer Prize nomination, World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International, and the Robert Capa Gold Medal. This last award is for reporting from abroad requiring exceptional courage and enterprise.

See a retrospective of his work.

Chris Hondros / Getty Images

A rebel fighter celebrates as his comrades fire a rocket barrage toward the positions of troops loyal to Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi April 14, 2011 west of Ajdabiyah, Libya. Rebels exchanged artillery and rocket fire with loyalist troops west of Ajdabiyah April 14 as the confict engulfing Libya continued.

View images he photographed in Libya during the last days of his life.

Here at msnbc.com, we will miss the amazing contributions Chris Hondros made to helping us understand our world. We have deepest appreciation for the tremendous sacrifice Chris made to do this dangerous work.

Beyond his work, on a personal level, many of us knew Chris and some were lucky enough to call him a friend. As we reflect on his life, and read the Facebook pages dedicated to his memory, these words keep coming up to describe him: inspiring, brilliant, determined, caring, kind, giving, remarkable … and wonderful.

Our hearts go out to the family, friends and colleagues that Chris leaves behind.