Pulitzer Prize-winning Arizona photojournalist dies at 57
PHOENIX (AP) — Pulitzer Prize-winning Arizona photojournalist Nick Oza, who documented the lives of disaster victims and immigrants, has died after being hospitalized more than three weeks with serious injuries from a traffic accident. He was 57.
Since 2006, Oza had worked for The Arizona Republic, where he was beloved by colleagues and known for his documentary-style photojournalism.
Oza died early Monday after being hospitalized since Sept. 3. That morning, he was traveling on Loop 202 near the Vee Quiva Casino south of the Phoenix community of Laveen when the vehicle veered across all lanes of the highway and struck the center divider.
Arizona Department of Public Safety officials have said Oza was the lone occupant and no other vehicles were involved.
The cause of the accident has not been made public.
Oza’s work was included in The Republic’s 2017 project called “The Wall” that examined then-President Donald Trump’s planned border wall. It won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting.
Earlier in his career, Oza’s images were part of the Biloxi Sun Herald’s Pulitzer-winning coverage of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation in Biloxi, Mississippi. At the time, Oza was working for sister newspaper The Telegraph of Macon, Georgia.
Oza was born in Mumbai, India, and traveled as a young man to the U.S., where he became a citizen.
He attended Columbia College in Chicago with plans of becoming a commercial photographer. His instructors steered him toward photojournalism when they saw his ability to immerse himself into his subjects’ lives.
Oza is survived by his wife, Jacquelyn, and daughter, Shanti, along with family in India.
There was no immediate word on services.