In The News

Photojournalist Bill Eppridge passes away

Photojournalist Bill Eppridge passes away

THE photojournalist Bill Eppridge has passed away in the United States. He was 75.

During his long career, Mr. Eppridge worked for a number of publications including Life magazine, Time and Sports Illustrated. His assignments were as diverse as revolutions in Latin America to the arrival of The Beatles in the U.S.

But he will be remembered for taking what is regarded by many people as one of the greatest news photographs of all time — the picture of Presidential hopeful Robert Kennedy moments after he was shot in Los Angeles in 1968.

Mr. Eppridge had been covering Kennedy’s campaign and on that fateful June 5 day had taken a number of images which captured the great wave of support that the 42-year-old politician had been enjoying. He photographed what was to be the Senator’s last speech, delivered at the Ambassador Hotel. Moments later, as Mr. Kennedy departed through the hotel’s kitchen area, he was fatally wounded by gunman Sirhan Sirhan.

Mr. Eppridge’s photograph shows Mr. Kennedy lying on the floor being comforted by hotel worker Juan Romero (see below). The haunting photo has a halo of light in the background.

When asked how he had been able to continue taking photos of the horrific scene, he explained: “You are not just a photojournalist, you’re a historian”.

Mr. Eppridge went on to cover Senator Kennedy’s funeral service in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York and was on the train which carried the body to Washington for burial in Arlington National Cemetery. His photographs taken on the journey captured the mood of the thousands of people who lined the tracks.

Other notable assignments during his career had included a photo essay about drug addicts in New York which had inspired the 1971 film, The Panic in Needle Park, which starred Al Pacino and Kitty Winn.

He had covered many lighter subjects, including The Beatles’ first concerts in the U.S. as well as the Woodstock music festival.

Mr. Eppridge had published a number of books featuring his work. His final book, The Beatles: Six Days that Changed the World — which marks the 50th anniversary of the group’s arrival in the U.S. — will be published in February next year.

To view an interview in which Mr. Eppridge discusses the photographs he took on the day of Senator Robert Kennedy’s assassination, click here.

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