Journalist and author William Prochnau, "who wrote a critically acclaimed book, Once Upon a Distant War, about a handful of skeptical reporters whose early warnings that the United States wasn't winning in Vietnam went unheeded," died March 28, the New York Times reported. He was 80. Prochnau "often said he was proudest of his own reportage from Vietnam for the Seattle Times in the mid-1960s--work that apparently earned him a berth on President Richard M. Nixon's expanded enemies list."
Prochnau was also a reporter for the Washington Post and a contributing editor of Vanity Fair, where his article "Adventures in the Ransom Trade" was the basis for the movie Proof of Life. His novel Trinity's Child inspired the script of the film By Dawn's Early Light.
Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Kai Bird described Once Upon a Distant War as the "classic account of the journalistic experience in Vietnam."