tv Oral Histories Darryl Heikes Photojournalism Interview CSPAN October 7, 2017 11:10am-11:56am EDT
c-span.org/cities tour. you are watching american history tv all weekend every weekend on c-span3. darrell photographed hundreds of presidents -- photographed dozens of presidents. working for career world report. he photographed president kennedy minutes before his assassination and the signing of the camp david accords. the university of texas austin recorded this interview and archived his photos along with other nationally recognized photographers. >> we are going to talk about some of the photos from your collection on display. is taken one we have
on november 22. can you tell me about that photo? ride -- theen a dallas cops were lenient. we could go any place we wanted to. i positioned myself at the corner of main and harwood because the limo would have to turn. so it gives you a different per spec of and driving straight down the street. turn off ofthe hardwood on to maine. across the street from harwood and maintenance dallas city hall, which i would return to later that night. i was set up and there was a
woman who had a caricature across the street all the way with jfk had caricature. i talked with her and told her when the motorcade came by, be sure to have it straight up and hide. i arranged myself so that when they got there i waited until that caricature fitted in. i only made like to frameless because it was too far and afterwards they were passed it. thes about six blocks from -- blocks from the dallas time. i started running in the street to get there to get the picture out.
i had gone about half a block and this motorcycle cop had run over the foot of a pedestrian. until he picked up the motorcycle. the streets were too full of people to run on the sidewalks. up and got to the entry and pushed the elevator and it didn't come for about two minutes, so iran up the stairs and went into the newsroom. the newsroom had all the people crying heads down. film and found out what had happened. i got all the other gear i needed that i hadn't needed for
that one picture we wanted because the whole idea was the to be usedas going clear across the whole front page of the dallas times herald. and found out and talk to everybody. i gave my film to woody allen and, who is a photographer and headed toward the book depository, which is only 2.5 blocks away. so iran over there. ,hen i got to the depository just across the street from it, there were cops with guns everywhere. pointing out at the building. there were cops and news people in front of the building. finally i stevan grabbed my gear because he's not going to shoot me or should the cops.
i was there with a news conference. we were trying to find any information and reporters were talking. lived inom a man who oak cliff. called in the same police man had been shot. i that a hold of a timeshare reporter who was there. he was a baptist part of dallas. sickly a crime free area. a lot of things were going. we got in his car, parked in the basement of the dallas county courthouse directly across the street from the book depository. went to the corner where the police were going through.
the body was not laying there anymore. his body was gone. neighbors and people looking all over the place. pictures,ow how many the thing that became interesting was i was the only photographer there. is kind of hard to get beat on the job when you are the only person there but nobody was there. there was one television crew and the dallas police photographers were there. sudden the radio squawked again and they said they had the shooter trapped in the texas theatre, which was only three blocks away. got there the car was pulling out and one of the cops that the reporter new said we just got a guy who killed a cop
and shot the president. in the car and went straight to city hall. when he parked his car i went up stair. -- upstairs. until oswald was brought in and i made a photograph of him in his handcuffs. eyeas pointing under his and his comment was, you see what they did to me? then he went into the homicide office. police walked in carrying the gun overhead to get in. probably 100 photographers and reporters in that hallway. later the baby and -- were arriving as well.
herald and upi decided i should stay there to see what happened. networksging of the they took us down for a lineup. walterwhen wrong -- when cronkite came on the air to announce president kennedy was dead and the photograph they showed was my picture of them in the motorcade on cvs. back toecause i got it the office, got a processed quickly and transmitted it. that picture was used. shop andin the cop they told us they would have a lineup in the basement so they took us all downstairs and brought oswald.
the reporters asked her a question about shooting the president. ridiculous.t's then they left and i went back upstairs and went into the press little pressas a room outside. and i stay there all night. i was relieved the following morning. and i went act to the paper and i went home. -- went back to the paper and went home. i decided i really didn't want to do that. was.fe didn't know where i
she didn't know where i was and reports came out they didn't know who was shot, how may people were shot, what was going on. i went home and what i did was stay home and sat on my bed and watched jack ruby shoot lee harvey oswald. later on i went to a dallas county jail just every day. trial i spent covering the ruby trial. you can see them when they
his sister. interesting, we often say that these photos we have in evidence of are there being a trial. did you have the sense of what that would be? >> of course immediately, just before he got shot, see how much dallas -- general walker had a lot of of strong support, ultraconservative reports. been involved in
the shooting of the president. shot in thesomebody window of general lockers home, which turned out to be lee harvey oswald. you never know exactly what you are doing until you get to the point where the picture has made it. that picture of mine was the first pick sure that most people saw in dallas. it was a situation, driving by at the right place at the right time.
hard to believe but i started my photography as president of the -- photography of presidents of the united states when general eisenhower had been elected and not tober of 1953. at shelley air force base. the students at the high school knew that he was coming and they built this huge banner. he came with this convertible. waiting on the people they came by. the newspaper in your book for learned how tod use the camera.
you look in the hood and it was a reflex camera, which would get you through. dark slights to get the film. shutters.d two making sure the shutters were open when you made the pick her. i got one picture of him waving. it was the high school paper and yearbook but used later on. int i thought eisenhower photographing the rest of the presidents through barack obama and harry truman.
>> what point did you know? >> at the point i did the eisenhower pick sure. -- eisenhower picture. it became interesting how i got there. i have a degree in technical journalism. kansas state has produced a great number of food -- of very photographers. you worked for the newspaper, you worked for the yearbook, and the way to make pictures was to make pictures. but a stream for the upi.
campus shoot features on . . would transmit them to upi i would make all these prints and put them on buses and send , andall to the newspapers to the apn kansas city. their wayw there on our transmit the picture to upi. i was making all kinds of prints. we got paid. it wasn't like you are getting rich at five dollars per picture, but that's how he got paid.
the football games, the basketball games. that's what it was about. i went from dallas to madison wisconsin. a publisher of the dallas times herald had decided since i work and are contracted to the times herald, if i made a picture of jack ruby shooting buildrvey hall oswald or from upi made it, they couldn't call it. collect the dallas times herald photo. they fired assault. the chief photographer called me
into his office. if you are not working for upi, would you work for me? we went back, told john i had been fired and he says you have got a job. the next morning i was working for the dallas times herald. in madisonopening wisconsin, so that's when i went to madison. >> i want to jump ahead a little bit. mentioned photography of a couple of residence. of yours in our
exhibit of president jimmy carter at mr. heikes: on the day that i happen, my wife's birthday is the 12th of september. i'm pretty sure this was the 17th of september. the thing was, john was a upi photo editor and photographer who worked the weekends. and this was a saturday or a sunday. i think it was a sunday. i am sure it was. and he called and said, they are coming down from the mountain and they're going to have a press conference in the east room. we can only have one photographer in the east room so go. so i grabbed my gear and my stuff and headed to the white house. finally they took us into the east room. when we got there, here we were, one person per organization, ap m magazineple, time
had two people. people, newsweek at two people. the thing about it, the israelis, the egyptians, they all had two or three. so i was literally the loan , person for upi. when i was standing there looking at what was going to happen, i decided that i did not want to stand straight in the middle because when they signed the accords, and when they got together, they would be way too far apart. so i did what i usually did and i moved way down to the end of the press riser so i can look back. and when they signed it, they were kind of compressed a little bit. and then, when the embrace came, sadat wassmiling, standing in front of the israeli
flag and began was standing in front of the egyptian flag and carter was right beside it. some of the people later on who had been in the middle had three-way handshake's in the middle, which got some play, but my picture got the most. it won the white house news photographers conference -- news photographer's contest and , picture of the year contest for general news. a lot of people made it, but i was the only one that had the angle that put it together and made it work, which is always what i tried to do. i try to figure out as you do it, all these photographers to worked at the white house in washington will all tell you, that the biggest thing was figuring out where you have to be at the right time with the right lens in your hand to do it you have to do, which is what we all did. >> one of the things that strikes me about this story is, i am sure some of the folks who were in that room, we have the
collections here, too. how competitive was your relationship with other journalists? darryl: you are very competitive. you are more competitive, and competition is what it is all about. we have people here that i competed with that did not work for the services i did at the time, but i worked for upi. the ap photographers were very competitive. but then, so were the photographers for the magazines, and for the newspapers. upi, was tol, at get my picture on the front page of the "washington post." it did not matter if they had 100%. the "new york times." i wanted to get my picture of all of these things. that was exactly what it was all about. you were there to try to outshoot everybody there. and if you happened to be on a job and they outshot you in the picture was in the picture of
next day and you weren't, you would congratulate them and say you did brilliant, you did a nice job yesterday and it was a really nice picture. and then the under your breath you would say, but you had better bring your lunch because it is going to be a long day today which is what it was all , about. >> let step forward a little bit and talk about you putting your archive here at the briscoe center. how did that come to be? how is it that your collection ended up here? mr. heikes: it came to be because they donated their archives. when stanley chaddock was a photographer for upi who worked later on for look magazine and made all of the behind-the-scenes kennedy pictures and john john under the desk, and all of these things. stanley had been with upi for quite a while, and then he went to "look" magazine.
while he was at work magazine he worked with kitty kelly who had written a lot of books and what have you. they were also a couple. i don't know what kind of a couple, but they were a couple. but the thing about it is, i was at the "u.s. news & world report," which is who i was working for at that time, and kitty kelly came in and met with lenny jeanne hopkins, who was the secretary of the publisher of "u.s. news & world report." she asked me to come up and kitty kelley said, what should i do with her? we have all of stanley's images, what should i do with them? i said you ought to do a book and then donate them to somebody that can archive them, handle them for you that is not some photo agency out there trying to sell everything. but then that is what this is to donate something
here where they can archive it to the point where it will be preserved. if you have a flood, if you have a tornado, the odds are that the images will be fine here. for i was at kansas state the 100th anniversary for the journalism school there, they wanted to know why i would not donated to them and it was because they did not have the archival facilities do it. they don't have the space. and i was concerned they did not have the facilities to do it, and of course, they got gordon parks archive from its family. ' he had great movies and show pictures and then they had a flood and the pipes burst. and a lot of gordon parks' film, movies and images were ruined in the flood, because they have those real old, old buildings were part of the era, that
were built 150 years ago. their infrastructure does not work too well and it was one of those things that i personally cannot see giving it to k-state because i did not know what they would really do with it. and i knew what they would do with it here. as i told my wife, who is very active in what i am trying to do and getting this done, i said, i do not want to die and leave the stuff for you here in 60 boxes and you will have the foggiest idea of what to do with it. >> one of the other things that i think is important is that we do have all of these contemporaries, all of your colleagues. so, what is the value of having all of these materials in one place? mr. heikes: that is exactly what it is all about. i mean, if somebody wants it, it is all here. and they can compare it, they can look at it and they could
see what people can use, and what they want to use. the center has got so many images. and they can decide which ones they want and which ones they do not. i think they do a good job of archiving this stuff. hadn't spentck five hours going through boxes in my house in two days, it would have been crazy, and i kept sending her more and more stuff. but i did not want to die and my wife and kids this stuff. they would not have the foggiest idea of what to do with it. that is something that has to be done. that is something that allows photographers in our business, now they don't know what they will do with the stuff. i wish just talking to did swanson's wife and i have no jermaine for 30
years or more and she says the same thing, we have all these boxes and we have to pick what we are going to do in order to get them how. the archive is here also, but the point was, it had to be done, but you cannot just leave it for your kids. because they really have no , idea. the kind of know what you did with your life, but they don't know what to do with the stuff that they have. >> your career is an amazing example, you mentioned all of the presidencies, and these historical events. you were there to capture the evidence. talk a little bit about why photos are such important historic evidence, if you would. mr. heikes: because they capture history. it is just like photo photography, or here we have talked about. we all say, we are part of history because you were there happened.se events that is really what it is. you are capturing history so that other people can have a
chance to see history also. and the reason that that is important is that you have to give people the opportunity to see what happened. you know, it is really funny because people do not realize , that a lot of pictures are made just because we happen to be in the right place at the right time. and it is very good to see the reaction. i mean, i have pictures that -- with all my first-place photos in the white house with weber -- with either whoever was president at the time, with them, looking at my pictures or what have you, that were prizewinners, and it is funny because, the first year i won a prize, i won a first prize in the 1969 white house presidential contest. i won it for a sports picture of rowers in the olympics at mexico
city, on a real foggy day. and the swallows were flying around. so, i called it the foggy canoe and birds, too. at the same time i had made the day before the worlds record leap of bob niemann in the long jump. i had him kissing the ground and i had all the series of pictures. and that picture did not do anything in the white house contest, but the foggy canoe and o, won the whiteo, won the white house contest in the sports competition. nixon and i were there and he was looking at it and he said, when with -- where was dismayed and i said it was made in mexico. he said, you know, there is no such thing as bad mexican food, just better mexican food. but nixon got along with the photographers. everybody who covered nixon will
say the same thing. he did not have any problem with photographers, because he did not think the photographers could hurt. he hated the correspondents and the columnists, but so did most of them. because they do not like what was happening. but we had a pretty great rapport with most presidents. jimmy carter, who i made all kinds of photographs of, all kinds of wonderful pictures of the middle east shuttle diplomacy, and all the things that he did. but he did not like , photographers. he was afraid somebody would make a picture of him sticking his finger up his nose, or something that would be very unflattering, which a photographer in atlanta did do. conscience --self
self-conscious that he did not want to do anything that would make him look bad. later on he became a good subject after being president. i think that is a situation that most presidents are very relaxed around us. bush was extremely relaxed because he had a really good relationship with his photographer. and the best was jerry ford, who had a really good relationship with david kennerly. we used to always joke and say, jerry, we need to to stand on your head, will you do it? and we were sure he would. have a he would not problem of doing anything that we needed, he would get it done. that is the thing about dealing with the president, you have to expect that you can get what you need out of them. if somebody does not like it, or worry about it, i mean, reagan
told mike deaver once, he said, still photographers always scare said, in a blink of an eye, there it is, and the pictures are there forever. whereas, the videos, they are there, and goes by and nobody , pays attention. he was always worried that any individual incident that might happen with the bed. -- he really did not look bad. i made very good pictures of reagan. he was very easy to photograph. >> he was probably comfortable with his own image. what would you say was -- if you could pick one image that you would like to be remembered for, that you think was your most significant, what do you think that would be? mr. heikes: you're talking about events that you are covering.
the kennedys and the johnsons, in the car, was great, because it was something that happened and then it was over. david signing was something that was also there, and then it was over, also. but also, i do not remember anything -- i was involved, just like i did the bobby kennedy funeral. i was there when jfk got shot. i did martin luther king's funeral. so i covered literally all of , the funerals and the assassinations, one way or another that had happened in my , career. thing was the kennedys in the car, and later and iotographing oswald, was not in place when he was shot by jack ruby. and i was not at the shooting when ronald reagan was shot.
i was on the hill in the senate senate -- in the senate dining room, shooting mr. thurmond's daughter's 12th birthday party. but then i went straight to the gw hospital and i made all kinds of images of nancy going in and out of the hospital, which were used a lot. but the thing about it was, i was not exactly there when the shooting happened. we have photographers here, who were, and we have their reflections, in the center, that were there. you just sort of never know, it is just like the fact i was telling the guys downstairs, when they were talking to me about the picture that bob jackson made of jack ruby shooting lee harvey oswald. the "dallas morning news" photographer had photographed the same scene, he was above frank johnson who was there.
and also, bob jackson was standing next to him, in a position where he shot the thick -- he shot the picture just before ruby fired the gun. and when the "dallas morning news" came out, there was jack beers' picture of him holding the gun and oswald there. and then, the "times herald" came out and the picture of , jackson and the reaction when oswald was actually shot. and jack beers became a broken man because of that. he was broken man after that. he died not too far after that and his family totally hates , jackson and his family. it is ridiculous. he missed it, he made a picture that was not as good as the other guy's but he was there and he made something. and you sort of say, well, we had a lot of photographers who
were there, and say, if i had been there, i would have done this and that. which is not, because if you are not there, you are not there to make it. you cannot say, i would have done this because that is not going to ever happen. it was pretty funny. don ripple for upi was there when reagan was shot. and he made the pictures that won the pulitzers and won all kinds of things. don ripca was disheartened because it he had good pictures -- because he thought he had good pictures but he did not had.what ron edmonds and it was funny, because two or ripca gots later, don called by ubi headquarters in new york to talk to the executive editor, and said, can
you ship me the reagan film back? i want to look at it. larry was from brooklyn and he is italian and he has his own attitude and he says a wide, you want to shoot it again? it is one of those things were if it did not happen and it is not there, then it did not happen and it is not there. and it was magical if you were there? mr. heikes that's what it is all about, that's way somebody did not have it. that is kind of what we do along those lines. be going, you try to make the best picture contest, with you are doing, and you always sure to be any place. we did when we were working, especially the white house, you
have the optimum many in your hand and it maximum amount of film whenever something happens. because somebody coming in a split second, it could be there and you got it in the person standing next to does or does not have it. >> i think that will wrap things up for us today. is there anything else you want to share? mr. heikes: no. it is fun to just have a place and it feels good to have your film and a place where you know it is appreciated and can be taken care of. and that is all that i ever wanted when i donated the all of -- when i donated. all my other colleagues, so many of them now have done the same , thing. it is just word-of-mouth and i have talked to many people who have told initiatives of where i've had to go, and that is exactly what it was. a lot of people had to make a decision of where things were going to be. now, we have got photographer friends who have their stuff other places. one of them who is teaching at , ku and all of his archives at the university of kansas depends
on the kind of tie and what have you. but, my tie to kansas state is wonderful. they taught me a heck of a lot about being in the news business and about journalism, but they just do not have the facilities to do it. this is where this facility is. >> we are grateful that you are part of that facility. mr. heikes: all of us who have our stuff here, we were talking a few minutes ago, about how great it is to know that you have that confidence and feeling in the back of your mind that it is there. when i am gone, because i have had so many of my friends that i have worked with who have now passed away, you know that it is taken care of when you are going to be gone. it is still going to be there that people can see it. , you know that it is not going to be destroyed by whether or what have you.
and that makes it great. , >> nexen day, join us at 7:00 -- we explore the rich history and literary life of the south dakota capital city. today at noon eastern on book tv, author nathan sanderson talks about a pioneer cowboy in his book "controlled recklessness." he was involved in the ranching industry in western south dakota, which was essential to the growth of our state in the early 20th century. also, laura ingalls wilder . program of the sepracor state historical society that is designed to study and published a comprehensive edition of laura's
"pioneer girl," which is her autobiography. >> a tour of the south dakota state capital. up, there are also four corner areas with flags. the south dakota flag, there is a flag from the dakota territory, there are also flex for spain and france because they controlled this territory at different times. and one quarter has a white flag, one red, one black, and one yellow. and those are the native american colors that symbolize the four directions of the compass. learn about lewis and clark's encounter with members of the lakota sioux on the missouri river, and why that was so important the area. atrre south dakota, today noon eastern on c-span3's book tv.
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of the newsity organization as it functions on a day-to-day basis. at 8:00 eastern, on c-span's "q and a." on "the presidency", the book "writing with george: sportsmanship and the first presidency." washington's mount vernon hosted this hour-long event. post: we are really lucky tonight to have a wonderful journalist and historian and friend of mount vernon speaking. philip smucker is a writer and war reporter who spent years covering conflicts in iraq,