In 1966, at a very young age, Ut joined The Associated Press (AP) in Vietnam, after his older brother Huynh Thanh My, also an AP photographer, was killed in combat. Ut covered the rest of the Vietnam War for AP. Later, he also worked in Tokyo, and in 1977 he was transferred to Los Angeles.
The highlight of Ut’s career came on 8 June 1972, when he photographed Kim Phuc running and screaming down route 1 after her village had been bombed with Napalm by South Vietnamese planes. Immediately after making the photo, he rushed the girl to a hospital, which saved her life.
The image won every major photographic award in 1973, such as the World Press Photo award, the Pulitzer Prize, the George Polk Memorial Award and the Overseas Press Club award. In 1993, Nick Ut was asked to open a new AP office in Hanoi, where he worked with his old colleague from his Saigon years, George Esper.
He still works for AP as a photojournalist, and is still in touch with Kim Phuc, now living in Canada, whom he calls every week.