Former AP photographer Harry Koundakjian dies
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Former AP photographer Harry Koundakjian dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Harry Koundakjian, a former photographer and photo editor for The Associated Press in the Middle East and New York City, has died. He was 83.

This June 15, 2012 photo shows retired Associated Press photographer and photo editor Harry Koundakjian at the 2012 Alumni Reception at the AP's New York headquarters in New York. Koundakjian died Monday, April 21, 2014, in New York. He was 83. (AP Photo/Stuart Ramson)

Koundakjian died Monday at a Manhattan hospital, from complications of open heart surgery he had in February, his daughter, Lola Koundakjian, said.

Born in Syria, Koundakjian finished high school in Lebanon. He began work there for The Associated Press in the 1960s, first as a freelancer and then as a staffer in 1969.

He photographed news events throughout the Middle East and Europe, including war in Lebanon, the Olympics in Germany, and the 1978 wedding of King Hussein of Jordan to his fourth wife, Queen Noor.

In 1979, he and his family moved to New York City, where he was a photo editor for the AP until his retirement in 2006.

Koundakjian's career was his life and his colleagues became close family friends, his daughter said.

"He brought his career home in a positive way," she said.

Survivors also include his wife and a son.

Lola Koundakjian said a celebration of her father's life and a funeral are being planned.