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First black journalist killed in Iraq war recalled

A wave of car bombings snatched the lives of two CBS News team members covering the war in Iraq Monday, including veteran cameraman Paul Douglas, the first African American journalist to die in the ongoing violence.
(FILES) A picture dated 25 March 2006 sh
Paul Douglas, a veteran cameraman working for CBS News, in a March 25 photograph. Hassan Ammar / AFP - Getty Images file
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May 30 — A wave of car bombings snatched the lives of two CBS News team members covering the war in Iraq Monday, including veteran cameraman Paul Douglas, the first Black journalist to die in the ongoing violence.

Douglas, 48, soundman James Brolan, 42, and  39-year-old CBS correspondent Kimberly Dozier were accompanying the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, to film a Memorial Day story about what life is like for the troops in Baghdad when a car packed with explosive blew up nearby.

The three were outside of their armored Humvee, with troops who were examining a roadblock in Baghdad, when the blast happened, according to CBS and Iraqi Police.

Douglas and Brolan were killed instantly, CBS reported.  Dozier is in critical but stable condition and is being treated for injuries to her head and legs.

The deaths of the two men, who both lived in London, bring the number of journalists killed in the Iraqi conflict to 71, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

CBS correspondent Byron Pitts paid tribute to Douglas, whom he described as a "great travel companion," who always had a smile on his face.

"He knew the world very well. It's a real loss for our profession," Pitts said.

Correspondent Mark Phillips offered this short tribute to Douglas:

"It was Paul's smile, the one that never seemed to leave his face no matter what horror he was witnessing. And from Bosnia to Afghanistan, from Rwanda to the Palestinian territories to Iraq, there were few horrors of recent history that Paul Douglas had not witnessed. Paul was one of those people you wanted around when things got dicey. He could charm his way through hostile country, he could defuse the belligerent tension at an armed roadblock. He would get the reluctant to tell you their story. Paul could disarm anyone with his good natured ways, given the chance. Today he had no chance. Paul Douglas was 48 years old when his luck ran out on a Baghdad street. He leaves a wife, two daughters, three grandchildren, and an elderly mother behind."

Former anchor Dan Rather remembered Paul as "a tall, strapping Brit of African heritage, a great bear of a man with a smile as wide as the Thames." 

"He looked like an athlete, and moved like one. He had the broad shoulders and thick legs of an American football tight-end or British rugby lineman. But he was quick and agile and could (and often did) run fast for long distances carrying heavy equipment."

Douglas "had worked for CBS News in many countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Rwanda and Bosnia, since the early 1990s. He leaves behind a wife, two daughters and three grandchildren," a CBS statement said.