Md. man who shot famous JFK Jr. photo dead at 76

Mar 3, 2012, 8:08 PM

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – The photographer who took the iconic picture of John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting his father’s coffin during the slain president’s 1963 funeral has died.

Stan Stearns, 76, died Friday at a hospice in Harwood, Md. His son, Jay Stearns, said the cause was cancer.

Stearns was assigned to cover John F. Kennedy’s funeral on Nov. 25, 1963, as a photographer for United Press International. He would later describe standing outside the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington and being squeezed into a roped off area with 70 other photographers.

Stearns stood by as the president’s flag-draped casket was loaded on to a horse-drawn caisson after the funeral. Through his telephoto lens, he watched as Jacqueline Kennedy leaned down to whisper to her son, who turned 3 years old that day. Then the boy stepped forward and saluted. Stearns’ camera clicked.

The salute lasted less than five seconds. Though television cameras captured the moment, it was Stearns’ photo that became famous. Stearns later said he learned other photographers missed the picture because they had focused on Jacqueline Kennedy or the president’s coffin.

Stearns was supposed to walk with the funeral procession to Arlington but instead returned to UPI’s office with his film. His angry boss demanded to know why he’d left. Stearns explained he had the picture of the day.

“I knew I got it,” Stearns later said of the famous shot. “You know when you get it.”

In 2007, obituaries for another photographer, Joe O’Donnell, mistakenly credited him with taking the famous image. Newspapers later corrected the error.

Stanley Frank Stearns was born May 11, 1935, in Annapolis. He attended Annapolis High School and began working as a photographer at the Capitol newspaper when he was 16. He worked as an Air Force photographer and for UPI before setting up his own photography studio in Annapolis, taking wedding pictures, portraits and graduation pictures of students at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Funeral services are planned for Tuesday in Annapolis.

Stearns didn’t get rich off his famous photograph. He told the Baltimore Sun in 1999 that it earned him $25 in picture contest. But the image has become a part of history.

“The picture told the whole damn story,” he later said.

___

Online:

http://www.ssphotography.com

____

Follow Jessica Gresko on Twitter at
http://twitter.com/jessicagresko

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

Associated Press

2 rock climbers found dead in Southern California

IDYLLWILD, Calif. (AP) — Two rock climbers were found dead near a Southern California peak after rescue crews responded to reports of injuries, authorities said. Rescuers were called around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday to Tahquitz Rock near Idyllwild following a distress call, the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department said on Twitter. A team managed to climb […]
20 hours ago
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, center left, stands next to the demarcation line at the demilita...
Associated Press

S. Korea, US and Japan hold anti-N. Korean submarine drills

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea, U.S. and Japanese warships launched their first anti-submarine drills in five years on Friday, after North renewed ballistic missile tests this week in an apparent response to bilateral training by South Korean and U.S. forces. The North’s recent five missiles launches, the first such tests in a month, […]
20 hours ago
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is taken off the field on a stretcher during the first ha...
Associated Press

Tagovailoa stretchered off field with head, neck injuries

CINCINNATI (AP) — Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa sustained neck and head injuries after being slammed to the ground in Thursday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals and was stretchered from the field. The Dolphins said Tagovailoa was conscious, had movement in all his extremities and was taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center for further […]
20 hours ago
FILE - This photo shows an aerial view of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Palm B...
Associated Press

Trump records probe: Tensions flare over special master

WASHINGTON (AP) — The parallel special master process spawned by the FBI search of Donald Trump’s Florida estate has slowed the Justice Department’s criminal investigation and exposed simmering tensions between department prosecutors and lawyers for the former president. As the probe into the presence of top-secret information at Mar-a-Lago continues, barbed comments in recent court […]
20 hours ago
FILE - Sheriff's deputies recover the remains of a victim of the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif., Nov...
Associated Press

Ex-PG&E execs to pay $117M to settle lawsuit over wildfires

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Former executives and directors of Pacific Gas & Electric have agreed to pay $117 million to settle a lawsuit over devastating 2017 and 2018 California wildfires sparked by the utility’s equipment, it was announced Thursday. The settlement was announced by the PG&E Fire Victim Trust, which was established to handle claims […]
20 hours ago
A consumer uses a Discover card to purchase gasoline at a Sam's Club in Madison, Miss., Thursday, J...
Associated Press

US economy drops at 0.6% annual rate from April through June

WASHINGTON (AP) — Battered by surging consumer prices and rising interest rates, the U.S. economy shrank at a 0.6% annual rate from April through June, the government announced Thursday, unchanged from its previous second-quarter estimate. It marked the second consecutive quarter of economic contraction, one informal rule of thumb for a recession. Most economists, citing […]
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Md. man who shot famous JFK Jr. photo dead at 76