richard s. ehrlich’s biographical details (resume)
Richard S. Ehrlich
e-mail: glossograph *at* gmail *dot* com
American foreign correspondent, photojournalist, radio & TV reporter, author and illustrator currently based in Bangkok, Thailand.
Reporting news from Asia for international media since 1978.
Many of my latest news stories are archived by Scoop at:
I have been based in:
Hong Kong (July 1978 - January 1980)
New Delhi, India (January 1980 - April 1984)
Hong Kong (April 1984 - September 1985)
Bangkok, Thailand (September 1985 - October 1986)
New Delhi, India (October 1986 - April 1989)
Bangkok, Thailand (April 1989 - today)
I began reporting while based in Asia immediately after I received a Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Foreign Correspondent’s Award in 1978 which included $2,500, plus an air ticket from the U.S. to Hong Kong, and a position at United Press International (UPI) as an Editor for Asia and the Pacific.
Since 1978, my datelines have included Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet, Vietnam and elsewhere.
More than than 7,000 photographs which I shot during assignments in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet, Vietnam and elsewhere.
In addition to revolutions, religious ceremonies and other events, I have also photographed:
the Queen of England
the Dalai Lama
Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev
the King of Bhutan
Cambodia’s Hun Sen, King Norodom Sihanouk, Queen Monique and Prince Ranariddh
Aung San Suu Kyi in her home in Burma
Afghanistan’s U.S.-installed President Hamid Karzai, warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum and Soviet-backed President Najibullah
Moscow’s Chief of Soviet Ground Troops in Afghanistan, General Valentin Varennikov
Presidents Joseph Estrada and Gloria Arroyo of the Philippines
Sri Lanka’s Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam guerrillas, President Junius Jayewardene and Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike
India’s “Bandit Queen” Phoolan Devi
Asia’s imprisoned “Bikini Killer” Charles Sobhraj
India’s Khalistan guerrilla leader “Saint” Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale
American singer Gwen Stefani
author Norman Mailer
editorial cartoonist Pat Oliphant
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
Homeland Security’s Tom Ridge
New York City during September 2001
U.S. President George W. Bush
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
More than 7,000 photos are online for you to view (and purchase for publication) at:
I have freelanced for:
Absolute Phuket magazine, Thailand / Aftonbladet, Sweden / American Reporter, on-line, Internet / Asia Magazine, Hong Kong / Asia InPlay magazine, California / Asia Pacific Broadcasting magazine, Singapore / Asian Medical News, Hong Kong / Asian Pacific Post, Canada / Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia / The Australian / B International magazine, Hong Kong / Bizarre magazine, England / Brisbane Courier-Mail, Australia / Cable and Satellite Asia magazine, England / China Hospital magazine, Hong Kong / Compass News syndication / Daily Telegraph, England / Daily Yomiuri, Japan / Dawn, Pakistan / Dynasty in-flight magazine, China Airlines / e-Asia Cable and Satellite, on-line, Internet / Eastern Express, Hong Kong / 89 Rock magazine, Brazil / Electronic Times, on-line, Internet / Elle magazine, England / ELLEgirl magazine, New York / Encyclopedia Mediasat (in Polish), Poland / English Zone magazine, Japan / EscapeArtist.com, on-line, Internet / European Press Network / Farang magazine, Thailand / Fate magazine, Wisconsin / Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong magazine / Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Texas / Freedom Review magazine, New York / Free Press, Ohio, USA / Gavroche magazine (in French), Thailand / Gazeta Wyborcza (in Polish), Poland / Getty Images, USA / Global Politician, on-line, Internet / Globe and Mail, Canada / Going Places in-flight magazine, Malaysia Airlines / Hindustan Times, India / Hong Kong Standard, China / Ice magazine, England / Illustrated Science magazine, Denmark / Independent, England / Insight magazine, Washington DC / Inter Press Service syndication / Irish Times, Ireland / Kompas, Indonesia / Laissez Faire City Times, on-line, Internet / London Observer News Service syndication / Lonely Planet, Travel Guides / MacLean’s magazine, Canada / Macmillan Language House books, Japan / Melbourne Herald-Sun, Australia / Metro magazine, Thailand / The Nation, Kenya / The Nation, Thailand / National Post, Canada / National Public Radio, Washington / News-Times, Florida / Newsday, New York, USA / Newsweek magazine, Japan / Nose magazine, California / Orange County Register, California / Patriot Ledger, Massachusetts / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pennsylvania / Planet Syndication, England / Prestige magazine, Thailand / Reader’s Digest magazine / San Francisco Bay Guardian, California / San Francisco Chronicle, California / San Francisco Phoenix, California / Seoul Times, South Korea / Silk Road in-flight magazine, Dragon Air in-flight magazine / South China Morning Post, Hong Kong / Southeast Asia Globe magazine, Thailand / Sunday Herald, Scotland / Sunday Star-Times, New Zealand / Taipei Times, Taiwan / Television Business International magazine, England / Tempo magazine, Indonesia / Thailand’s Best Restaurants Guide, Tatler / Toronto Star, Canada / TravelAsia magazine, Singapore / TV Technology and Production Asia-Pacific magazine, New York / Untamed Travel magazine, Thailand / Vancouver Sun, Canada / Voici magazine, France / West Australian, Perth, Australia / World and I magazine, Washington DC
United Press International (UPI) staff correspondent for 6 years (July 1978 - April 1984) based in:
New Delhi, India (January 1980 - April 1984)
When the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on December 25, 1979, UPI immediately posted me from Hong Kong to be based in New Delhi as their staff correspondent for South Asia
Reporting for UPI included:
- the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan
- Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s re-election and rule
- Pakistan’s martial law and Islamic shift under President Mohammad Zia ul-Haq
- coups in Bangladesh
- democracy and tourism in Nepal
- the birth of Sri Lanka’s civil war
In 1983, I was the first UPI correspondent in seven years to be invited by King Jigme Wangchuk into the tiny, secretive Himalayan nation of Bhutan.
Hong Kong (July 1978 - January 1980)
UPI Editor for Asia and the Pacific during:
- the establishment of U.S.-China diplomatic relations
- China’s brief war with Vietnam
- Vietnam’s “boat people” exodus
September 1975 - August 1976 freelance from England, Ireland and Egypt
January 1975 - September 1975 freelance from South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Laos, Burma, India, Nepal, Italy and Greece
April 1974 - December 1974 San Francisco-based reporter for The San Francisco Phoenix newspaper, California
March 1972 - August 1972 freelance from Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Kenya, Tanzania and Israel
May 1971 - August 1971 freelance from the Netherlands, West Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France and Spain
In 2011, I contributed to the final chapter, “Ceremonies and Regalia,” in a book titled,
King Bhumibol Adulyadej, A Life’s Work: Thailand’s Monarchy in Perspective
Published by Editions Didier Millet. ISBN: 9789814260565
I am also one of the main reporters and researchers for a book of journalism focusing on Thailand’s history titled,
Chronicle of Thailand: Headline News Since 1946
Published by the Bangkok Post and Editions Didier Millet. ISBN: 9789814217125
In 2008, I was one of the main interviewers and writers for a biographical book titled,
60 Stories of Royal Lineage, portraying descendents of Thailand’s royal family
Published in Bangkok. ISBN: 9789743835582
I am also co-author, along with Dave Walker, of a book of investigative documentary journalism titled,
"Hello My Big Big Honey!" Love Letters to Bangkok Bar Girls and Their Revealing Interviews
Published in 2012, in San Francisco, as an e-book,
The e-book is based on San Francisco’s popular print edition published in 2001.
That 252-page print edition includes 19 of my color photographs among its 26 pictures.
London’s Tate Gallery museum exhibited “Hello My Big Big Honey!” in 2006 as part of an art installation.
London’s British Library described the book as a “masterwork” of “feminist research,” and offers a print edition in its Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections for consultation by scholars, academic researchers and others in the Reading Rooms, at Shelfmark YD.2004.a.1805.
TIME magazine hailed “Hello My Big Big Honey!” for its interviews, documentation and investigative journalism and as “…an intimate portrait…” of Bangkok’s West-meets-East sex industry.
The Far Eastern Economic Review magazine said it uncovered “a Freudian whirlpool of sexual fantasies and frustration, of damaged egos and haunting super-egos, of dreams of pure love and acts of cold calculation, and a milieu of cross-cultural mayhem.”
The Lonely Planet Guide to Thailand, and the Lonely Planet Guide to Bangkok, both recommended this book in their “Culture and Society” section.
A 172-page translation of “Hello My Big Big Honey!” sans photos is published in Bangkok in the following languages:
French, titled: “Bonjour ma Grande Grande Cherie!”
Italian, titled: “Buongiorno Mio Grande Grande Amore!”
German, titled: “Hello My Big Big Honey!” (Deutsche Fassung)
In addition to The British Library, this book is also available at other public libraries, including:
Columbia University’s Lehman Social Science Library in New York City offers the newest, expanded 252-page edition, with photos, at Call Number: HQ 810.3.H455 1993g.
Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism Library has an earlier, 172-page first edition of “Hello My Big Big Honey!” in their permanent collection at the same Call Number.
The University of California Berkeley keeps the newest edition of “Hello My Big Big Honey!” in its Main Doe Library.
The University of California Berkeley’s Southeast Asia Library also keeps a copy in its Reference Center for Social Sciences and Humanities.
Columbia University Mentor:
September 2004 - today: Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism has appointed me to offer assistance in their Mentor Program. Each year, the university pairs me with a Master’s degree student, who is attending classes at the New York City campus, and I answer — via e-mail correspondence — the student’s questions about the profession and their future career.
Columbia University Proctor:
December 2003 - December 2006: Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism also appointed me as their Thailand-based proctor for administering, overseeing, and securing the school’s entrance examination, for applicants in this part of the world who needed to take the supervised test in Bangkok during the winter examination period.
Media Consultant to Leonardo DiCaprio:
January 1999 - April 1999: I was the Bangkok-based Media Consultant to Leonardo DiCaprio, handling worldwide release of DiCaprio’s quotes, photographs and TV video, to local and international newspapers, magazines, television stations and internet websites — plus advising the actor on topics and word usage for his written published statements and relations with local and international media — while he was here in Thailand filming the movie, “The Beach.”
Printing & photo darkroom experience:
Operator of flatbed newspaper presses.
Cylindrical offset presses.
Vertical platen presses.
Manual “furniture” lockup.
Photochemical processor of line-cut metal plates for letterpress printing.
Liquid hot-lead Linotype compositor.
Linotype lead smelter.
Half-tone dot photography.
Black-and-white photo darkroom developing, enlarging and printing.
Industrial and graphics photography.
Book jacket ink-gum marbling.
Metal type galley proofreader.
Setter of 18th century, cold-lead “movable type” by hand.
Internet HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) website construction.
January 1976 - June 1976: Taught English as a second language at the Oxford School of English and Foreign Languages, London, England.
May 1978 Columbia University, Graduate School of Journalism, New York City: Scholarship, Master’s of Science degree, cum laude, and recipient of their 1978 Foreign Correspondent’s Award.
May 1978 Barnard College, New York City: Anthropology of Southeast Asia. A Barnard campus course in conjunction with Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
September 1976 - May 1977 University of Hull, Yorkshire, England: Senior undergraduate year studying Shakespeare, Modern British Literature, Commonwealth Literature, and Women’s Literature under San Francisco State University’s “Special Study” and “Independent Study” programs while in England.
May 1977 San Francisco State University, California: Bachelor’s of Arts degree, cum laude, English and Creative Writing, including “Special Study” and “Independent Study” programs during 1975 while in South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Laos, Burma, India and Nepal, plus “Special Study” and “Independent Study” programs during 1976-1977 while in London and Hull, England.
I am from San Francisco and speak some Thai, Mandarin, Hindustani, Urdu, Spanish and French.