In the Room: Behind the Scenes of History
Photographs by David Kennerly
Former FCC member David Hume Kennerly has been a photographer on the front lines of history for 55 years. At age 25 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for Feature Photography. His winning portfolio included images of the Vietnam and Cambodia wars, refugees escaping from East Pakistan, and the Ali v. Frazier “Fight of the Century”. Two years later Kennerly was appointed President Gerald R. Ford’s Personal White House Photographer, the third person to ever have that job.
Kennerly has photographed 10 American presidents, and covered 13 presidential campaigns. He was a contributing editor for Newsweek magazine for 10 years, and a contributing photographer for Time and Life magazines for more than 15. American Photo Magazine named Kennerly “One of the 100 Most Important People in Photography”.
In 2019, The University of Arizona Center for Creative Photography acquired the David Hume Kennerly Archive, which features almost one million images, prints, objects, memorabilia, correspondence and documents. University President Robert C. Robbins also appointed Kennerly the university’s first Presidential Scholar.
Kennerly has published several books of his work, Shooter, Photo Op, Seinoff: The Final Days of Seinfeld, Photo du Jour, Extraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford, and David Hume Kennerly On the iPhone. He was also a major contributor to the CNN 2016 book, Unprecedented: The Election that Changed Everything. His exclusive portrait of the new president is on the cover.
Kennerly was executive producer of The Spymasters, a 2015 CBS/Showtime documentary about the directors of the CIA. He also produced The Presidents’ Gatekeepers, a four-hour Discovery Channel film about White House chiefs of staff. Kennerly was nominated for a Primetime Emmy as executive producer of NBC’s, The Taking of Flight 847, and was the writer and executive producer of a two-hour NBC pilot filmed in Thailand, Shooter, starring Helen Hunt. Shooter was based on Kennerly’s Vietnam experiences, and won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography.
In 2015 Kennerly received the prestigious Lucie Award honouring the greatest achievement in photojournalism.