Life after Vietnam
In 1972 Leroy and Frank Cavestani co-directed a documentary on American veterans opposed to the Vietnam War entitled “Operation Lost Patrol.” In 1975 Leroy went to Beirut to cover the Lebanese Civil War where she lived and worked with Agence France-Presse war correspondent, Bernard Estrade. In the same year, Leroy covered the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War.
In 1977 Leroy became the first woman to win the Robert Capa Gold Medal – “for best published photographic reporting requiring exceptional courage and enterprise” for her work covering the Lebanese Civil War. In 1983 she co-wrote the book God Cried, which documented the siege of Beirut by the Israeli Army in 1982. Leroy was again honoured for her work in 1987 when she was awarded Picture of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association for her reporting of the bombing of Tripoli, Libya. In 1997 the University of Missouri presented Leroy with a honorary award for Distinguished Services in Journalism.
In 2002 Leroy created the website, “Under Fire: Images from Vietnam” which featured images from the preeminent war photojournalists, including Nick Ut who captured the iconic image of the badly burned Vietnamese girl Kim Phuc, entitled The Terror of War. In 2005 Leroy’s book, Under Fire: Great Photographers and Writers in Vietnam was published on the 30th anniversary of the end of Vietnam War.
In what turned out to be her last story, Leroy photographed Vernon Wike in his home in Colorado, almost forty years after she photographed the young Navy Corpsman during the Battle of Hill 881 North. On July 8, 2006, Leroy passed away from lung cancer aged 61, leaving behind a legacy of iconic images.