Man in famous 9/11 photo dies from COVID-19 in Florida

Stephen Cooper fleeing smoke and debris as the south tower of the World Trade Centre crumbled. Photo: Twitter

A man photographed fleeing smoke and debris as the south tower of the World Trade Centre crumbled just a block away on Sept. 11, 2001, has died from coronavirus, his family said.

The Palm Beach Post reported that Stephen Cooper, an electrical engineer from New York who lived part-time in Florida, died March 28 at Delray Medical Centre due to COVID-19. He was 78.

The photo, captured by an Associated Press photographer, was published in newspapers and magazines around the world and is featured at the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York.

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The photo shows Cooper, who was 60 at the time, with a manila envelope tucked under his left arm. He and several other men were in a desperate sprint as a wall of debris from the collapsing tower looms behind them.

“He didnt even know the photograph was taken,” said Janet Rashes, Cooper’s partner for 33 years. “All of a sudden, he’s looking in Time magazine one day and he sees himself and says, oh my God. Thats me,” Rashes said.

She said that Cooper was delivering documents near the World Trade Centre, unaware of exactly what had happened that morning.

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