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Last Updated: Monday, 10 April 2006, 11:52 GMT 12:52 UK
Profile: US journalist Seymour Hersh
File photograph of Seymour Hersh
Much of Hersh's recent work has focused on the war in Iraq
Multi-award winning US journalist Seymour Hersh has broken some of the biggest news stories of the past 40 years.

It was his article for the New Yorker magazine in 2004 that first revealed the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison.

However, his first big break came with an expose of the 1968 My Lai massacre, in which US soldiers killed hundreds of civilians, including women and children, during the Vietnam war.

Those revelations, which prompted widespread outrage and drastically reduced US domestic support for the war, won him a Pulitzer prize in 1970.

Born in 1937 in Chicago, Hersh began his journalism career in local newspapers after dropping out of law school.

In 1972, he joined the New York Times. There he uncovered the CIA's domestic spying activities - in violation of its charter - and its role in the downfall of Chile's democratically elected leader, Salvador Allende.

Military targets

Henry Kissinger, the former US secretary of state, had been a favourite Hersh target since the reporter had broken the story of his direction of secret bombings in Cambodia during the Vietnam war.

In 1979, Hersh left the New York Times to work on his 1983 best-seller, The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House. The book would win him a National Book Critics Circles award.

Victims at My Lai
The My Lai massacre is one the best-known atrocities of the Vietnam war

In the following decades, Hersh has hardly dropped his pace, publishing more scoops and another best-seller, The Dark Side of Camelot, about President John F Kennedy.

Hersh has been writing for The New Yorker magazine since the 1990s.

Since the 11 September 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, his work has focused on military matters and the Iraq war.

It has often angered the administration. After being targeted in one of his articles in 2003, former US assistant defence secretary Richard Perle said Hersh was "the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist".

In 2004, Hersh broke the Abu Ghraib prison abuse story, and the magazine published leaks from a US military report into the abuse, along with snapshots of prisoners being abused.

Most recently, he reported that US forces were in Iran identifying military targets for future strikes, and the US government was considering using nuclear weapons against Iranian nuclear targets.

The administration has dismissed both claims.

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