It is with great sadness that we report to you the sudden passing of longtime WHNPA member Jim Atherton. The following is from WHNPA president, Ron Sachs:
I am saddened to hear about the passing of Jim Atherton. It is easy to say all of the “right” things: Jim was a towering figure in the Washington Photographic Community; He was an award-winning photographer for U.P.I. and the Washington Post; Jim’s many accolades include the White House News Photographers Association Lifetime Achievement Award; and is a former member of the U.S. Senate Standing Committee of Press Photographers. But, Jim was far more than that. I was lucky enough to have know him both professionally and as a friend of my family’s. His knowledge of the people and the landscape on Capitol Hill allowed him to make photos others could only dream of taking. In his matter-of-fact style, Jim was a mentor to both me and my brother, and I am sure countless other photographers, when we first started covering Capitol Hill. I spent many hours listening to Jim and learning from him. He always knew precisely where to position himself and I learned very early to stay close to him and observe what he was doing and how he was doing it. Given the fact he was a family friend, I also had the privilege of being able to go to him later to ask for help and advice. Our industry owes a lot to Jim Atherton and we will miss him.