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Cecil W. Stoughton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cecil W. Stoughton
White House Photographer, Cecil Stoughton, on the roof of an unidentified building.jpg
Stoughton standing on the roof of an unidentified building in 1962.
Chief Official White House Photographer
In office
President John F. Kennedy
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Yoichi Okamoto
Personal details
Born Cecil William Stoughton
(1920-01-18)January 18, 1920
Oskaloosa, Iowa U.S.
Died November 3, 2008(2008-11-03) (aged 88)
Merritt Island, Florida U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Photographer

Cecil William Stoughton (January 18, 1920 – November 3, 2008) was an American photographer. He is best known for being President John F. Kennedy's photographer during his White House years.[1]

Stoughton was present at the motorcade at which Kennedy was assassinated and subsequently took the only photograph on board Air Force One of Lyndon B. Johnson being sworn in as the next President.

Life and work

Stoughton's iconic photograph of Lyndon B. Johnson taking the oath of office as President following the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Stoughton's iconic photograph of Lyndon B. Johnson taking the oath of office as President following the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
President John F. Kennedy with John-John in 1963.
President John F. Kennedy with John-John in 1963.

Stoughton was born in Oskaloosa, Iowa on January 18, 1920.

During World War II, he was assigned to the First Motion Picture Unit.[2] He was a captain in the United States Army Signal Corps, when he was assigned to the White House Army Signal Agency. Stoughton's behind-the-scene pictures of John and Jacqueline and their children in their public and personal life were pivotal in shaping the public's view of the U.S. first family. He took more than 8,000 pictures of the family spanning the 34-month period beginning with Kennedy's inauguration and ending with his assassination.[3]

Stoughton took the only photograph ever published showing John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe together.[4] Stoughton was present at the motorcade at which Kennedy was assassinated, and was subsequently the only photographer on board Air Force One when Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as the next President. Stoughton knew it was "tasteless," but suggested a photograph needed to be made of the "history-making moment ... and I think we should have it."[5] His photograph depicts Johnson raising his hand in oath as he stood between his wife Lady Bird Johnson and a still blood-spattered Jacqueline Kennedy.[6] Stoughton recounted this event and his service as White House photographer during Johnson's first two years in office in an oral history contributed to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum.[7][8]

In 2008, Stoughton appeared on the television series Antiques Roadshow as part of the LBJ Centennial where he recounted his story and presented prints of his photographs from his personal collection, including a print of his photograph of Johnson being sworn in that Johnson had signed, and a photograph of Johnson in the Oval Office as he signed the photo of his swearing in.[9] All the items together appraised for $75,000. Two years after his death a large collection of his photographs was sold at auction. It included the picture of Johnson's inauguration, and fetched $151,000.[10]

Stoughton appeared as a contestant on the May 29, 1987 episode of the game show Classic Concentration, on the date that Kennedy would have turned 70 years old.

He died in Merritt Island, Florida,[11][12] and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.[13]


  1. ^ Trivedi 2004. See also May 16, 1961 letter from President Kennedy to United States Secretary of the Army Cyrus Vance, commending Captain Stoughton.
  2. ^ Sullivan, Patricia (2008-11-06). "Cecil Stoughton, 88; Kennedy White House Photographer". The Washington Post. Accessed 2012-05-29.
  3. ^ Trask 1988.
  4. ^ Trivedi 2004. "I got a shot of JFK, Bobby [Kennedy], and Marilyn all in the same frame when they were packed in the library with a whole bunch of other guests." See photograph here.
  5. ^ Jones, Chris (September 16, 2013). "The Flight from Dallas". Esquire. Retrieved July 25, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Lyndon Johnson Signed Photo Depicting Him Taking the Oath of Office Aboard Air Force One - Inscribed to the Photographer of the Iconic Image, Cecil Stoughton". Shapell Manuscript Collection. SMF. 
  7. ^ Fox, Margalit (November 6, 2008). "Cecil Stoughton Dies at 88; Documented White House". The New York Times. p. A30. 
  8. ^ Transcript, Joe Frantz, Oral History Interview by Cecil Stoughton. Austin, Texas: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library. 1971. 
  9. ^ See Roadshow archive, PBS Online by WGBH Educational Foundation, and Top Finds: John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson Signed Photographs on Antiques Roadshow PBS-channel on YouTube. Stoughton appeared at the Orlando, Florida Roadshow on June 30, 2007; the segment was aired in the episodes Orlando, Hour 3 (#1206) (first aired February 11, 2008) and Politically Collect, Hour 3 (#1219) (first aired November 3, 2008). See also slideshow of photographs and letters from Stoughton's collection.
  10. ^ Collection of John F Kennedy photographs sold at auction, The Daily Telegraph, December 10 2010.
  11. ^ Pyle, Richard (November 5, 2008). "Photographer who took LBJ's swearing-in photo dies". Associated Press. 
  12. ^ Sullivan, Patricia (November 6, 2008). "Cecil Stoughton, 88; Kennedy White House Photographer". The Washington Post. p. B5. In June 2007, Major Stoughton appeared on the public television series "Antiques Road Show" with his photographs. The taped segment was rerun Monday night, during a program on presidential antiques. Maj. Stoughton had died about an hour earlier. 
  13. ^ Cecil W. Stoughton (1920-2008) - Find A Grave.


External links

This page was last edited on 8 August 2018, at 19:57
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