A death photo has been discovered of Ernie Pyle, one of the best and most famous writers ever to come out of Indiana. It was taken just after a Japanese machine-gun bullet went through his left temple:
It's a striking and painful image, but Ernie Pyle wanted people to see and understand the sacrifices that soldiers had to make, so it's fitting, in a way, that this photo of his own death ... drives home the reality and the finality of that sacrifice," said James E. Tobin, a professor at Miami University of Ohio.
Pyle was famous long before World War II came along, a 1930s media superstar. He had spent years on the road writing six columns a week -- 1,000 words each; believe me, that's a considerable output. By 34, he was a commodity sought by editors everywhere, but burned out and going stale. The war reinvogorated him, but it left his wife, frail and prone to depression, alone in their home in New Mexico. She died just a few months after he did.
There's a halfway decent World War II movie based on Pyle's dispatches called "The Story of G.I. Joe," with Burgess Meredith playing the correspondent. I think the story of his pre-World War II life would make a good movie, too.