David Hume Kennerly Blog

Uncropped: The Story Behind “The Hug” Photo

By David Hume Kennerly | Aug 7, 2020

This is the first time I’ve unveiled my uncropped “The Hug” photo from the dedication of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in 2016. This version honors the late Rep. John Lewis who died July 17th. Along with First Lady Michelle Obama and former President George W. Bush, former First Lady […] Read More

You’re Fired!

By David Hume Kennerly | Jul 21, 2020

“You’re Fired!” The Story Behind the Photo   I covered the 2016 presidential campaign for CNN. The last two weeks were spent with Donald Trump’s traveling circus. (It was my 12th campaign, and they all seem that way!). I spent weeks listening to crowds chanting, “Build a wall, kill them all! Lock her up! Hang […] Read More

Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden, Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, February 09, 2020.

By David Hume Kennerly | Jun 26, 2020

I’ve been photographing Joe Biden on and off since I returned from the Vietnam War in 1973. This latest photograph of him was made February 9 this year in Hampton, New Hampshire, as he campaigned for president. In this frame the former Vice President was talking about his son Beau who died in 2015. The […] Read More

Robert F. Kennedy, Portland, Oregon, October 25, 1966.

By David Hume Kennerly | Jun 10, 2020

Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Portland, Oregon, October 25, 1966. In 1966 as a 19-year-old cub photographer working for the Oregon Journal, I had the opportunity to photograph Sen. Robert Kennedy when he came to town. Kennedy was the first national politician I covered, and he made one hell of an impression. Like most people my […] Read More

The Girl with the Cap Gun and ‘Tude

By David Hume Kennerly | May 28, 2020

One of the true joys of having the time to go back through my archives at a more leisurely pace is uncovering the occasional gem that was hiding away.  In this case one that has been unseen for over 50 years. I took this in my Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood in 1969, a place that […] Read More

Creating an Archive and Thank You

By Rebecca Kennerly | Oct 15, 2019

I first met David Hume Kennerly in 1993. A year later, we were married in Hanoi, Vietnam on March 30, 1994. About two weeks after we met, David asked me to look at images he was considering including in his 1995 book, Photo Op. My dad and uncle were both photographers, so I was intrigued. […] Read More

Extraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford

By David Hume Kennerly | Mar 8, 2019

On March 26, 2019 an exhibition of my photos will open at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is the first-ever show of my time as President Ford’s chief White House photographer and is a vivid comparison between then and how things are now.  If you are old enough to […] Read More

Jonestown, a Personal Recollection

By David Hume Kennerly | Nov 19, 2018

Story and Photographs by David Hume KennerlyJONESTOWN — 1978: TIME cover by David Hume Kennerly Some anniversaries should be remembered, others you would rather forget. This one cuts both ways. Forty years ago on November 18, 1978, in a place carved out of a remote jungle in Guyana, over 900 people were murdered or committed […] Read More

David Hume Kennerly named University of Arizona’s First Presidential Scholar

By Rebecca Kennerly | Oct 4, 2018

Prolific political photographer David Hume Kennerly has been appointed as the first University of Arizona presidential scholar by President Robert Robbins, the school announced Tuesday. Kennerly won the Pulitzer Prize at 25 for his documentation of the Vietnam War and served as chief White House photographer for President Gerald Ford, among many other titles. The […] Read More

Upcoming Appearances

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46 years ago today I was on the South Lawn of the Whitehouse documenting President Richard Nixon’s final farewell after resigning. Check out my grid to see the entire sequence of pictures from that monumental day in history.
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Here’s a clip from my @cbssundaymorning appearance today. A nice moment with my favorite First Lady #bettyford Yes, she did strike a pose on the Cabinet Room table, and yes, she used to be a #marthagraham dancer! @cntrforcreativephoto ...

Tomorrow, Aug. 9, I’ll be on @cbssundaymorning talking to Jim Axelrod about being President Gerald Ford’s chief photographer. It’s the 46th Anniversary of Nixon resigning and Ford replacing him. Thanks to @jaykernis for producing a terrific piece, and @susanzirinsky for her great work running @cbsnews — and particularly thanks to President Ford for ending, “Our long national nightmare...” @cntrforcreativephoto #centerforcreativephotography ...

One of the finest people I have ever known, my friend Brent Scowcroft is dead at 95. I worked with him when he was deputy, then chairman of the National Security Counsel during the Ford Administration. He also chaired the NSC for Bush 41. Scowcroft was an exemplar of the perfect NSC chief. He was an honest broker between the National Security apparatus and the president. Unlike many modern day chiefs, he relegated his opinion to the back bench. As Vietnam fell Brent was the person I hung out with during those dark days. All information coming in went to him first. I took this photo of him, Sec. of State Henry Kissinger, and military assistant, and future NSC chief Bud McFarlane, as they awaited word on the final Vietnam evacuation. RIP Brent,you were a great one. @cntrforcreativephoto #geraldrfordpresidentialmuseum ...

Rebecca and @curtisstone before the plague. #curtisstone ...

On the street where I live...or at least one over! #marvista #gregoryain #losangeles @cntrforcreativephoto ...

61 years ago, in the early morning hours of August 7, 1959, a tremendous blast destroyed much of my hometown of Roseburg, Oregon. I was 12 years old, and was watching from my open bedroom window as fire consumed a building supply store a few blocks away. I still vividly remember the huge explosion that followed. The concussion blew me across the room, broke every window in our house, and showered the neighborhood with burning wood. It looked like nuclear detonation. A truck loaded with 4 tons of ammonium nitrate and dynamite had been parked next to the store, and the fire caused it to blow up. Fourteen people died in the disaster. The recent explosion in Beirut was caused by the same substance, 2700 tons of it. That blast was over 700 times bigger than the Roseburg event. Hard to imagine. I found this photo from the following day in my town, you can see the crater at the right. I escaped unharmed, and it proved to be good training for my later career! @cntrforcreativephoto ...

Looking up today. My view from the backyard. #marvista #california #centerforcreativephotography ...

A #squirrel day in my backyard this morning @cntrforcreativephoto ...

An 11-year-old iPhone photo taken near #lax — love the #flare @cntrforcreativephoto ...

Tenth Anniversary of this picture. Now it seems like a completely different era! #malibu #california @canonusa #canonusa @cntrforcreativephoto #goodoledays ...

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