Follow Christiane on social media:

On Twitter + Facebook + Instagram Amanpour producers on Twitter

What time is Amanpour on CNN?

Check showtimes to see when Amanpour is on CNN where you are. Or watch online.

Check showtimes to see when Amanpour is on CNN where you are. Or watch online.

A law and a life unto herself

March 22nd, 2010
05:52 PM ET

By Christiane Amanpour

CNN camerawoman Margaret Moth

CNN camerawoman Margaret Moth

Editor's note: CNN camerawoman Margaret Moth, who died of cancer Sunday in Rochester, Minnesota, was renowned for her gutsiness, striking appearance, distinctive humor and sense of fun. Barely surviving a sniper's bullet in Sarajevo in 1992, she battled back to continue working around the world, impressing all with her determination and attitude.

Margaret was a law and a life unto herself. Before I actually worked with her, I was quite intimidated by the idea of Margaret MOTH! The woman who had changed her name to that of a small plane, who even leapt out of them! The woman who wore black clothes and heavy black eye makeup, who was goth before it was cool. The woman, who I discovered under siege in Sarajevo, wore her heavy black boots to bed, just so she could be ready if the shelling started.

Bosnia, summer 1992, was my first assignment with Margaret, the latest in a string of distinguished women who changed my life on and off the road. She was wonderful, funny, hardworking, brave, tireless and fiercely private.

After a few weeks there, I had taken a break. I think it was July 14, I remember leaving her at the Sarajevo airport shooting a Bastille Day celebration day for the French UNPROFOR troops. I got on a plane to see my family. She didn't want to take a break, she wanted to stay on the next rotation. Three or four days after I left, she was shot in the face.

I remember flying off to the Mayo Clinic to visit her with Parisa Khosravi. I remember walking down the corridor to her room. Luckily, there was a picture of her on the door, because lying in bed, her face swollen and swathed in bandages, she was unrecognizable except for her hands. It's the only way I knew it was her. At some point that very day, I had to make a decision to go back to Sarajevo or not. The International Desk called me from Atlanta and asked whether I would go back. I looked at her in bed ... holding back tears. ... I quickly said yes into the telephone. I think I knew if I didn't say yes then, I might never go back.

She was remarkable. She came back to the battle zones as soon as she could. She endured all those endless surgeries, she had to learn to eat and drink and talk again. She had to endure people's embarrassed, curious stares. She got hepatitis C from the initial blood transfusion in Sarajevo that saved her life. And later, she got cancer, fought the good fight for longer than anyone could imagine, and died. Life battered and brutalized her, but she remained unbowed and happy. She was a survivor, a unique soul, and she bore all that came her way with a remarkable sense of calm and equanimity. She loved music, antiques and animals. She taught us so much about what it means to be a real person, the consummate professional.

She deserves to finally rest in peace. Now she can.


Filed under:  1
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Fernando F.

    I think Christian Amanpour is MARGARET MOTH VERSION 2.

    different but in a way so similar.

    March 22, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Reply
  2. Penny Bartlett

    Christiane, thank you for another beautiful portrayal of a brave and momentous person. May she rest in peace.

    March 22, 2010 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  3. Omosun J.Shiaka

    Rest in peace M. MOTH

    March 22, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Reply
  4. Abiodun

    I think this woman added so much to the world. It would have been a lot better if she was around longer to change a few of the decisions she made.

    March 22, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  5. Gulsum Ramazanoglu

    I was half sleeping on the couch and half listen to CNN Intl. When I heard Christiane started to talk about Margaret Moth my ears prickled and I listened to her saying she has died sunday. I am really sad to hear this.. I have followed her story before .. now I see that I kept a hope for her life.. so she is gone 😦

    As a muslim I will pray and read Quran for her.. but I cant do anything to share your pain except saying, please accept my condolences 😦 I am sorry for you too..

    In my belief, if you wish God make the deceased ones feel too the same tastes you offer the people around you, then they feel.. so I will cook for her too..

    March 22, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Reply
  6. Tunde Adekunle

    MARGARET a woman with no equal, though i never met you, but u are an inspiration. Rest in Peace

    March 22, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  7. M Alexander

    I was totally speechless when I heard Margaret's story for the first time, so much talent and an individual personality to complement her profession. I was very sorry to hear of her death over the weekend. More nerve than most, she was a model & credit to the industry and the new standard on how others will be measured in the future.

    M Alexander

    March 22, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Reply
  8. Diana Cifelli

    What an extraordinary woman....wish I had known her.

    March 22, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  9. kristin

    Being in love with CNN at the start, I remember the coverage of your time in Sarajevo. I may of not known the person behind the camera. It was a true honor to see the stories from her point of view behind the lens. Time is so important. Sorry and prayers go out. May her images of those times life in the minds of all effected. Great Caring thoughts Kris.

    March 23, 2010 at 1:55 am | Reply
  10. Deborah

    Thank you for sharing your memories of her.

    March 29, 2010 at 4:05 am | Reply
  11. Peter

    May she inspire and give strenght and courage to all journalists out there, it can be a hell of a job but rewarding at the same time.

    March 29, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  12. k Conklin

    What an inspirational story! It seems that she was the Christiane Amanpour of photojournalism. Thank you and may she rest in peace.

    March 29, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  13. Behy Baharloo

    She was an extraordinary lady.....Thank you for sharing your memories
    of her with us,
    Rest in peace Margaret Moth.

    March 29, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  14. Diana Scott

    Now that's how to live. And that's how to die.

    March 30, 2010 at 12:20 am | Reply
  15. maryam

    Truely inspiring person. she was so true to herself and her work.wish this world can have many many more such passionate people around.
    RIP M MOTH

    March 30, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  16. Don Armstrong

    A wanderful life. She hit the ball back.

    March 30, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  17. Lowell Kokuloku

    What a wonderful story. I pray that God let her memories live on forever.

    March 30, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  18. ochuwa

    She has finally gone to rest..she deserves it after what life threw at her. An inspiration she truly was and still is. An inspiration to DO SOMETHING. How many of us dare be the person she was, I ask?

    March 30, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  19. GEETANJALI

    THANK YOU,THIS FUELS ME !

    March 30, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  20. bourassi

    I have seen margaret moth for the first time on cnn/world's untold story october 4th 2009,I remember she said something like"I think life's sort of like a game of tennis the important isn't how to receive a ball but how to get it back" Ifelt great respect for her story.she was courageous woman. may she rest in peace.

    March 31, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  21. MaryO

    Wow- just wow. Truly inspirational. What a woman! It's on the shoulders of Margaret, and women like her, that today's women stand. Thank you for such a great piece.

    April 4, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Reply
  22. Aisa

    Some spirits will always shine as a bright stars on the sky,
    Thank you Margaret

    April 5, 2010 at 6:14 am | Reply
  23. Rose Que Cosa

    found out today that she already had died. I was so fascinated of her, when I saw her for the first time on CNN/world's untold story last oct. I agree with MaryO... what more is there to add??? Thank you!

    April 5, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  24. jerome

    may she rest in perfect peace! from a fun from Ghana

    April 5, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  25. “>

    “>

    January 18, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Reply
    • \zx

      “>

      January 18, 2017 at 4:14 pm | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.