Stéphane Charbonnier, the editor at Charlie Hebdo and renowned cartoonist provocateur, was among the 12 killed at the satirical newspaper’s Paris offices Wednesday.

Stéphane Charbonnier’s Legacy

Charbonnier, who was best known as Charb, was determined to continue his controversial cartooning despite the risks. The champion of free speech often targeted Islam – particularly extremists – as well as people of a variety of other religions, political affiliations and more. Nothing was out of bounds; everyone was fair game.

In 2011, Charlie Hebdo’s former offices were bombed and its website hacked after the magazine published as issue after the Islamist party won in Tunisian elections that pretended to have Muhammad as the guest editor – and featuring an unflattering caricature of the prophet on its cover.

Afterwards, there was increased security outside the offices and Charbonnier was placed on an Al Qaeda hitlist and lived under police protection. Charbonnier remained undeterred despite the very real threat on his life.

“I don’t have kids, no wife, no car, no credit,” he told Le Monde newspaper in 2013. “Maybe it’s a little pompous to say, but I’d rather die standing than live on my knees.”

Charbonnier, who was 47, had been the editor at Charlie Hebdo since 2012. He’d worked at the paper for 20 years.

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