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  • Pelou also witnessed JFK shooting by Lee Harvey Oswald

    Pelou also witnessed JFK shooting by Lee Harvey Oswald | Photo: Reuters

Published 5 May 2019

Pelou also covered Mexico and Brazil, where he was jailed for revealing the details of a ransom deal under which dozens of political prisoners were freed to secure the release of a kidnapped ambassador.

A veteran French war reporter who was a witness in Dallas to the fatal shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald has died at the age of 94, his family said Sunday.

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In 1963, Francois Pelou, who also covered the wars in both Korea and Vietnam for Agence France-Presse (AFP), was the first French journalist sent to Dallas the day after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Two days later, he was a close eyewitness to Oswald's shooting in the basement of the Dallas police headquarters by nightclub owner Jack Ruby.

He was immediately interviewed by other reporters and covered Ruby's trial the following year.

In Vietnam, Pelou met and got involved with one of Italy's most famous female journalists Oriana Fallaci, with the relationship lasting for many years.

"Oriana Fallaci arrived in my bureau in 1967. We covered many events together, she would become very important in my life," he told Toulouse's La Depeche daily in 2016.

Posted to Madrid in 1975, he covered the death of dictator Francisco Franco who had ruled Spain with an iron fist from the end of the country's civil war.

While in Vietnam, he got shrapnel in one of his legs, leaving him with a lifelong limp.

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