Bob Lansdale, iconic photojournalist, dies at 74

Bob Lansdale, a Washington Post staff photographer known for his national coverage of the Civil War and his relentless pursuit of celebrities, has died at age 74.

The Post reports that Lansdale died Friday night in a nursing home in Oak City, Virginia.

One of the nation’s most prolific and respected commercial photographers, Lansdale was nominated for three Pulitzer Prizes for a series of portraits he took of Franklin Roosevelt and three other presidents and for his photographic coverage of World War II and other conflicts.

His work in the civil rights era went deep into the South, chronicling the birth of the civil rights movement and the violent aftermath of that conflict. Lansdale was among the photographers who documented the riots after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

“Bob Lansdale was an enduring force of nature whose career exemplified the dedication and love that makes photography such a special art form,” the Post’s Washington bureau chief, Phil Bennett, said in a statement. “His spirit will live forever in our newspaper and in the images that he captured as a founding member of our Star Photographers, a group that made its mark on the journalistic world by capturing the rhythms of daily life.”

From his days in the mid-1980s as a pioneering workaholic as well as its champion, Lansdale made hundreds of portraits of politicians, celebrities and others. He was one of the first photographers to cover New York’s Lower East Side in the 1970s and 1980s and in the mid-1970s became a street photographer for David Letterman on his TV talk show.

Lansdale worked for The Associated Press, the Times of London and D.C.’s WRC-TV News Channel 4 before arriving at the Post in 1985. He earned three National Press Photographers Association awards and two AP honorable mentions.

A native of Newtown, Pennsylvania, Lansdale was raised in New York and received an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1967. He then worked as a correspondent for Newsweek.


Information from: The Washington Post,

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