JFKWHP-ST-282-121-61 (crop): Alliance for Progress Ceremony at Techo Housing Project, Bogotá, Colombia (Pictured: White House Photographer Captain Cecil Stoughton), 17 December 1961

Cecil Stoughton was the first official White House photographer and the chief photographer during the Kennedy Administration. He studied at William Penn College and, before the U.S. entered World War II, he left school to enlist in the Army where he was assigned to a photographer-training program. His training included studying with Alfred Eisenstadt and Margaret Bourke-White in New York. He later was sent to Hollywood for training in motion picture photography where his commander was Ronald Reagan. Not long after the War, he became a photographer in the Army’s Public Information Office. Captain Stoughton was first assigned to photograph President Kennedy’s Inauguration on January 20, 1961. He subsequently was assigned to the White House full-time where he recorded the private life of the Kennedy family as well as official acts in the White House with foreign leaders and other visitors. During his time as the President’s photographer, he shot approximately 12,000 negatives, all of which are housed at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. He was the only photographer on Air Force One on November 22, 1963 to document Lyndon B. Johnson’s swearing-in as president. Stoughton continued in his role as White House photographer under the Johnson Administration until 1965. Following his retirement from the Army as a major, in 1967, he became the chief still photographer for the National Park Service. In 1973, he published with Chester V. Clifton and Hugh Sidey, The Memories – JFK, 1961-1963.

1920 Born, Oskaloosa, Iowa

1961-1965 White House photographer

1967 Retired from the U.S. Army

1967 Chief Still Photographer, National Park Service

2008 Died


The Memories – JFK, 1961-1963, (Norton, 1973).

Source: www.boston.com; 2008 The New York Times Company