Bob Daugherty certainly has had a full career. After documenting the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, he captured the presidency of Richard Nixon and his subsequent fall over Watergate. He was there for President Ronald Reagan’s trip to China, the rise of George H.W. Bush, and the fall of communism in Eastern Europe.
Daugherty was one of only three Associated Press photographers allowed into China during Nixon’s historic visit in 1972. He remembered, standing in the cold of Beijing, the moment when the 37th U.S. president emerged from Air Force One.
“We didn’t know who would greet him even at that late moment in the protocol. Then, without warning or special attention, Zhou Enlai [then Chinese Prime Minister] stepped forward and reached out to shake hands with Nixon. It was a handshake to remember, decades of history running through those two hands,” Daugherty is quoted in “Breaking News: How the Associated Press Has Covered War, Peace, and Everything Else,” a 2007 book by AP reporters.
But Daugherty wasn’t just a presidential photographer. His career also has spanned sports, culture, and breaking news, as seen from his images of jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie, Johnny Cash, the Beatles, and incidents like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway deadly crash in 1964 or the aftermath of the State Fairgrounds Coliseum explosion in 1963.
In any case, it’s quite enough for one man’s career and quite an inspiration for scores of photojournalists to follow.
Let us know in the comment section what you think about the photos and who’s work you would like to see next.