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Bernie Boston photographs

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0416

Scope and Contents

This collection of thirty-nine images contains published and unpublished black-and-white matted photographs. The majority were images taken while Bernie Boston was employed by the Los Angeles Times in the mid-to-late 1980's. Some of the subjects included in these photos are: Four Presidents at the White House, Lt. Col. Oliver North, US Marines, Presidents Bush and Reagan, and Hands Across America.


  • Creation: ca. 1980's


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical Information: Bernie Boston

Bernie Boston was a news photographer best remembered for his 1967 picture showing an antiwar protester tucking carnations in the rifle barrels of soldiers guarding the Pentagon. He graduated in 1955 from the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, attended the Air Force's School of Aviation Medicine and served in the Army for two years in Germany as a radiologist in a neurosurgical unit.

During a long career in Washington, where he was born, Mr. Boston covered every president from Lyndon B. Johnson to Bill Clinton. He also captured intriguing moments of the civil rights movement and related news, including the Poor People's Campaign and President Richard M. Nixon shaking hands with protesters after the 1968 riots in Washington. Mr. Boston, who retired from the Los Angeles Times, was working for the Washington Star on Oct. 21, 1967, when he took the image he called "Flower Power."

He remained with the Star, an afternoon paper, until it folded in 1981 and then inaugurated a photo operation in the Los Angeles Times's Washington bureau. He retired from the Times in 1993 and settled the next year in the Shenandoah Valley. In 2000, he and his wife bought the Bryce Mountain Courier, a monthly newspaper.

In 1987, he took a memorable photograph of Coretta Scott King unveiling a bust of her slain husband, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. The image was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, as was his 1967 shot at the Pentagon protest.

He developed instincts about emotionally revealing moments, catching a grim-faced Pope John Paul II staring down the media in 1979 and first daughter Chelsea Clinton retrieving her father's notes after they dropped during his 1993 inauguration.

Mr. Boston received numerous professional honors, including the highest award of the National Press Photographers Association and induction into the Hall of Fame of Sigma Delta Chi, the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2006, the Rochester Institute of Technology published a collection of Mr. Boston's photos spanning 40 years.


2 Linear Feet (2 clamshell boxes)




A collection of thirty-nine photographs taken by photographer and RIT alumni Bernie Boston. Most of the photographs were taken during the 1980's, some a bit earlier in his career.

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

Bernie Boston photographs

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated to the RIT Archive Collections by Owen Butler, RIT SPAS professor in June 2012.

Accession number(s): 2012:055

Related Materials

RIT Archive Collections also holds the official Bernie Boston Archive donated by his wife after his passing in 2008. This vast collection of Bernie's work is currently unprocessed.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in September 2012.



Bernie Boston photographs
RIT Archives
Jody Sidlauskas
10 September 2012
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Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA