Michael Evans passes away

12/2/05 ATLANTA (AP) _ Michael Evans, the White House photojournalist most famous for capturing an iconic image of a laughing Ronald Reagan wearing a worn cowboy hat, died Thursday at his home in Atlanta. He was 61. He died after a four year battle with cancer.

After Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter in 1980, Evans became the new president’s personal photographer, a job independent of the White House’s press office. For the next four years, he made a pictorial record of Reagan’s administration, standing behind the president when he was shot in 1981.”I just lowered my camera as the shots rang out,” Evans wrote in July 2004 for the Digital Journalist. “Instinctively, I fired a frame as I raised my camera, then took one more before I dropped to the ground myself.”

Born to Canadian diplomats stationed in Havana and South Africa, Evans showed an early interest in politics. His photojournalism career began in 1959 when he was a teenager at the Port Hope Evening Guide in Ontario, where he was paid $2 a photo to cover high school football games. He later worked for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, The New York Times and Time Magazine. In 1975, while covering Reagan’s unsuccessful campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, he took the famous picture of the future president, which ran on the covers of Time, Newsweek and People magazines after the president’s death last year. In 1982, he set up a nonprofit corporation to photograph 595 of Washington’s most powerful people. He later developed computer programs to find photos in large collections and briefly worked in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s photo department.A memorial service for Evans will be held Tuesday at 3:45 at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta.

Read more about Michael Evans at the following links:
http://www.digitaljournalist.org/issue0601/pierce.html ( A tribute by Bill Pierce) 
http://www.digitaljournalist.org/issue0601/evans.html (A tribute by by Scott McKiernan)
http://dirkhalstead.org/issue0407/evansqa.html (An interview with Zuma and a link to his Reagan works featured by Zuma) 
http://www.zumapress.com/aboutzuma/newsletter_archives/2005newsletters/2005newsletter48.html (A retrospective article featuring pictures of Michael Evans and his work)