Photographs of his self-immolation were circulated widely across the world and brought attention to the policies of the Diệm government. As President Kennedy said in reference to a photograph of Duc on fire, “No news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one." Malcolm Browne won a Pulitzer Prize for his renowned photograph of the monk's death. After his death, his body was re-cremated, but his heart remained intact.
Quang Duc's act increased international pressure on Diệm and led him to announce reforms with the intention of mollifying the Buddhists. However, the promised reforms were not implemented, leading to a deterioration in the dispute. With protests continuing, the ARVN Special Forces loyal to Diệm's brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, launched nationwide raids on Buddhist pagodas, seizing Quang Duc's heart and causing deaths and widespread damage. Several Buddhist monks and nuns followed Quang Duc's example, also immolating themselves. Eventually, an Army coup toppled Diệm, who was assassinated on 2 November 1963.