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A Photog Who Went Anywhere for a Shot

Patricia Sullivan

One of the beauties of writing on the Web is that we can share links to research that we can't squeeze into the space that print permits. So it was with much delight that I was able to show links in the obit for Cecil Stoughton which revealed how he lost his job with the federal government. (I had just seen a rerun of his appearance on the Antiques Road Show so I knew who he was when we first got word of his death.)

Stoughton, for those of you who missed the story, was the White House photographer who shot the iconic photo of Lyndon B. Johnson taking the presidential oath of office aboard Air Force One after President John F. Kennedy's assassination. He also took lots of photos of the Kennedy family while JFK was in office.

But it was while he was working for the Park Service that he ran afoul of the Nixon administration.

Here's the Time magazine version of what happened when Stoughton donned his bargain-basement plaid jacket, a beaver hat and the red Park Service pass that gave him access to the inaugural platform in 1973.

The official photos of the second Nixon inaugural are in the National Archives and I've seen a copy of the contact sheet; time didn't permit us to request that one be scanned and posted online so I could link to it; however, someone else got a copy of it, which we linked to here, clearly showing Stoughton, his Nikon and his jacket (unfortunately, in black and white).

The Washington Post front-page photo of the day was unfortunately made from a different angle, so you can't see the errant shooter.

By Patricia Sullivan |  November 6, 2008; 11:42 AM ET  | Category:  Patricia Sullivan
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