(ASSASSINATION OF JOHN F. KENNEDY). ASSOCIATED PRESS, ALTGENS, James W. "Ike" (1919-1995), JACKSON, Robert H. (b. 1934) et al. The Assassination of a President in Associated Press Wirephotos. New York, 1963-64.

26 silver gelatin prints, various sizes but mostly 14 x 11 in., some vertical others horizontal orientation (some glue remnants to verso). Black multi-ring binder.

Some of the most famous professional photographs of the Four Days. The Kennedy Assassination and its aftermath as captured by the photographers of the Associated Press including three of Ike Altgens' images of Kennedy's final moments in Dallas. A survey of the wire service's photographic documentation of the tragic days in November in an album containing photographs comprising the Associated Press's submissions for the 1963 Sigma Delta Chi Awards for Journalism.

Among the 24 images submitted for the prestigious award, is the work of James W. Altgens, an Associated Press photographer who was near Dealy Plaza at the time of the assassination. Included is what is believed to be the last professional photograph of Kennedy taken while alive. After he took that photograph, Altgens ran down the plaza toward the Elm Street overpass. Armed with a 105 mm Nikkorex F, single lens reflex camera, he took his next photo when Kennedy's limousine was still 30 feet away lest the image become too large for the camera. That decision proved critical as it was at that moment that Kennedy slumped in his seat with his hands clenched on his chest as the first shot hit him. This photograph, also housed in the album, is believed to be the only professional photograph of the shooting. The photograph also became the subject of controversy as a man who thought to resemble Lee Harvey Oswald could be seen standing in the doorway of the Book Depository which was used to cast doubt on the true identify of the shooter. (The man was later identified as Billy Lovelady, another depository employee.) As Altgens advanced the film reel to the next frame, he heard the next shot that penetrated Kennedy's head. By the time he was ready to take the next photograph the Presidential limousine was beginning to race away to Parkland Hospital, and the photographer managed to capture the moment as Secret Service agent Clint Hill mounted the rear bumper of the limousine with Jacqueline Kennedy climbing back into the back seat after reaching out to help the agent aboard.

Two days later, Associated Press Bob Jackson was also on the scene in the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters when Lee Harvey Oswald was being transferred to the Dallas County Jail. Two of the photos Jackson captured are included in this presentation, and it was for this work that Jackson was honored with the Sigma Delta Chi award for news photography. ("Annual Awards Announced By Journalism Fraternity," The New York Times, 6 April 1964, p. 17)

The balance of the photographs concern the subsequent events of the next four days, including the image of Jacqueline Kennedy as she arrived at Andrews Air Force Base with her late husband's body, images from the procession and funeral—most notably the iconic image of John F. Kennedy, Jr. saluting his late father. A remarkable photographic record.
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