After graduating from the University of South Florida, Jim Hooper began his working life as a TV documentary research writer, with weekends set aside as a parachuting instructor. He turned his pastime into a profession by building the world’s premier skydiving center in Zephyrhills, Florida. After logging more than 3,000 freefalls, he sold business and home and set off for Africa as a freelance war correspondent. His first book, Koevoet- Experiencing South Africa’s Deadly Bush War, documented five months embedded with an elite counter-insurgency unit in Namibia, where he was wounded twice. He next spent almost a year in central Angola with Unita rebels and was subsequently invited by Executive Outcomes to accompany its men in Sierra Leone, which led to Bloodsong, the first book about the legendary private military company. During the half-year reporting on the war in Bosnia, his most memorable experience was being taken prisoner by Muslim extremists. His latest work, Black Vortex is a collection of photos from four African conflicts he covered. He lives in England.

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