The photo won Adams the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography, though he was later said to have regretted the impact it had. The image became an anti-war icon. Concerning General Nguyễn and his famous photograph, Eddie Adams later wrote in Time:
” The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them, but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths…What the photograph didn’t say was, ‘What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American soldiers?
How do you know you wouldn’t have pulled the trigger yourself? “
Eddie Adams later apologized in person to General Nguyễn and his family for the damage it did to his reputation. When General Nguyễn died, Adams praised him as a hero of a just cause:
” The guy was a hero. America should be crying. I just hate to see him go this way, without people knowing anything about him. “