AP Photog Legend Harry Cabluck Has Seen a Host of Presidents Through His Lenses

July 14, 2009

Legendary Texas Associated Press chief photographer Harry Cabluck has seen tens of thousands of the famous and infamous through his lenses over a 55-year career, first with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and for the past 40 years with AP.

And last week during a photo shoot of me in connection with my alleged retirement, he stopped by a collector pair of paintings outside my office of former U.S. Presidents engaging in poker games. After lingering a moment over the two lifelike scenes–one of eight Democrats and another of eight Republicans, Harry noted matter-of-factly, that “I have covered ten of those Presidents.”

After prompting, he recalled photographing Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He probably could write a small book about  his up-close and personal encounters with the range of Commanders-in-Chief.  But several highlights stand out: shooting President Ford in the Great Hall in China in the company of Deng Xiao Ping; and photographing President Carter on the Salmon River in Idaho during his Western Vacation, in what he describes as one of the most glorious settings in his  memory. Harry also recalls that President Johnson was finicky about how he was photographed. The story goes that artist Peter Herd once told the President  that he had a “friendly side.” Henceforth, Johnson encouraged photographs shot from that side. Harry couldn’t recall for sure which side it was. So just for fun, our firm president and my blog mentor Paul Walker did a bit of research, and he turned up a majority of pictures focused on the left side of the President’s face. So we will assume that LBJ worked his will…as he so often did.

–Julian Read


– of the====..–one of Democrats

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