Arnie Sachs passed away Friday evening, November 3, 2006. He was 78 years old. During his distinguished career in photojournalism Sachs covered eleven presidents, from Harry S. Truman to George W. Bush, and thirteen inaugurals.
Sachs was awarded the WHNPA Lifetime Achievement Award for Still Photography in 2001. He was a member of the WHNPA for 56 years, during which time he served as secretary, chairman of the photo contest book, and member of the Eyes of History gala committee. Among his awards are numerous first prizes in the WHNPA Eyes of History, the American Newspaper Guild Front Page Awards, and the Hearst National Photo Contest. He started as a messenger boy for a Hearst newspaper in New York in 1946, and within five years, he was a Washington-based photographer for Hearst’s International News Photos Wire Service. He also worked for the old Washington Star and, starting in the early 1960s, spent more than twenty years with Agence France-Presse. For much of his life, Arnie and his wife Lorraine also co-owned and operated the photographic news agency Consolidated News Photos and the Congressional Photo Shoppe in Southeast Washington, a block from Capitol Hill.
His photograph “Fallen Integration Fighter” (1957), showed a Little Rock, Arkansas, protester lying on the ground and trying to wrest a bayonet from a paratrooper as the soldiers march over him. That picture won the White House News Photographers’ Association grand prize and spot news awards. Another memorable and widely reproduced image was taken in July, 1963, while on freelance assignment for the American Legion. “Next thing I know, this kid barrels through the line and grabs the president’s hand, so I took the shot,” Sachs later told the Baltimore Jewish Times, describing the pivotal moment when a young Bill Clinton shook hands with President John F. Kennedy.
Arnie Sachs was a highly respected photographer who always worked on the cutting-edge of photojournalism technology. In the early 1960s he pioneered direct photo transmission via satellite. Another technical contribution to photojournalism are the use of 35mm cameras in wire service coverage. During the Eisenhower administration he was the first to cover a presidential press conference in 35mm.
Funeral services were held 10:30 AM Monday morning, November 6 at Congregation Nevy Shalom, 12218 Torah Lane, Bowie, Maryland 20175. Internment will be at Cheltenham Veterans Cemetery; 11301 Crain Highway; Cheltenham, MD.
His wife of 54 years, Lorraine Chimkin Sachs, died in 2004. Survivors include four children, Ronald M. Sachs of Silver Spring, Howard L. Sachs of Woodbridge, Todd S. Sachs of Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., and Susan Sachs Brown of Dunkirk; two sisters, Bernice Moran and Penny Avneri; six grandchildren; and a great-grandson. Shivah will be observed through Thursday evening at the Brown residence; 10920 Ward Road, Dunkirk, MD.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Calvert Hospice, 238 Merrimac Ct., PO Box 838, Prince Frederick, MD 20678.