Photographer Cecil Stoughton died at home in Florida on Monday,November 3, 2008. Major Stoughton served as White House photographer
to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson before that position had a formal
name. His photograph of the swearing-in as president of Lyndon
Johnson aboard Air Force One after the assassination of John Kennedy
is one of the most important of the 20th Century.
Cecil Stoughton was born in Iowa on January 18, 1920; in retirement,
he lived on Merritt Island, Florida.
It was as a captain in the U.S. Army’s Signal Corps that he came to
the attention of the new president in 1961. From a desk in the West
Wing, he could be summoned by Mr. Kennedy’s secretary Evelyn Lincoln
to record visiting heads of state or, frequently, the antics of the
Life magazine’s Barbara Baker Burrows recalls: “Cecil was especially
fond of a group of photographs, 12 in all, he took in the Oval Office
in October 1962. Jackie was out of town, and Caroline and John John
danced around the president’s desk as he sang and clapped in delight.
As much as any, when those pictures were published around the world,
they helped create the aura that later came to be called Camelot.
But, for all the photographs Cecil took, the swearing-in clearly
remains his most important — as a photograph, and as an historic
document. At a traumatic time, in a single photograph, Cecil provided
the essential evidence of the continuity of government. In the
confusion that followed the assassination, his photograph told the
world that there was a new president, and the country that it was safe.”
Cecil Stoughton is survived by his wife Faith and their children,
William and James, of Merritt Island, and Sharon of Melbourne,
Florida, he also leaves a son from an earlier marriage, Stephen
Stoughton of Cary, N.C..
Sharon wrote tonight:[blockquote]Dad will be buried in Arlington Cemetery December 2nd at 10 am.
We have asked that donations be given in Dad’s name to Boy’s Town in
Nebraska. Dad spent some of his childhood there. We thought he would