A personal tragedy unfolded in Zimbabwe this week with the death of photographer Richard Mills. TheTimes of London photographer was working undercover in Harare when he was found dead on July 14 in his hotel room. Authorities said there was no evidence of foul play. Hundreds attended a funeral service at RoselawnCemetery in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on July 29.
After leaving Britain’s Royal Air Force in 2000, Mills had an impressive career as a photographer, covering Zimbabwe, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, among other dangerous assignments.TheTimes‘ obituary described Mills as a brave and compassionate photographer. Editor James Harding praised him for his “unerring eye and a rare combination of courage and compassion.” The Times reported that an autopsy found Mills’ death to be a suicide.
Mills was supposed to go home to Belfast on July 15, his 69-year-old father, also named Richard Mills, told journalists. “Richard was always upbeat and positive,” he said. “His mother and I worried about him. I asked him if his work had a profound effect on him and he said: ‘You get used to it.’ He tried to protect us to a certain extent. He did a piece on the most dangerous road in the world, between Kuwait and Baghdad, for example, and we only saw it after it happened.”