BALTIMORE (AP) — Roberto Borea, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer who produced thousands of compelling pictures from wars to the Olympics during a 30-year career with The Associated Press, died January 6. He was 51. Borea died at his home outside Baltimore from stomach cancer.
He had been working as AP’s Baltimore photographer, but over the years had received assignments that sent him around the world. “He always made you better when you were around him,” said Gene Sweeney Jr., a photographer for The (Baltimore) Sun. “You knew that if you weren’t on your game, he was going to beat you.” A photo taken by Borea was among 20 by AP staff that won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography. His picture showed the Clinton family — Bill Clinton, his wife and daughter and their dog — walking across the White House lawn to a helicopter en route to Martha’s Vineyard after the president’s televised confession of an affair with Monica Lewinsky.Borea, never one to boast about his work, deflected credit upon receiving the award. “It’s a great group of people,” he said of his colleagues. “I’m just happy to be a part of it.”
During his career he covered events including presidential elections, the U.S. invasion of Panama, the Gulf War and the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. “I’ve known Roberto both as a colleague and a competitor. I found him to be tough, smart and very capable, yet remarkably gracious and humble,” said David Ake, AP’s deputy director of photography.
Borea was born in Rome and grew up in New York. His father, Raimondo, was a freelance photographer. Roberto Borea earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and history from New York University. He worked as a copy boy and proofreader for The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J., and as a staff photographer for The Journal News in Rockland, N.Y. He started working for the AP in 1973 on the New York photo desk and took over the AP’s photo operations in Philadelphia as editor in April 1982. He then became photo editor in Milwaukee in 1992 and came to Baltimore in 1995. Borea is survived by his wife, Jeri Clausing; his mother, Phyllis, of New York City; and his sister, Carla Borea Brown, also of New York City.