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John F. Kennedy's Pacific Swim, Santa Monica, CA, August, 1962

Bill Beebe

“In the 1960s I was working for the Los Angeles Times as a staff photographer. Ever since John F. Kennedy’s nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, he would come and stay with his brother-in-law, Peter Lawford, at his beachfront home, just north of the Santa Monica Pier. As a news photographer, those visits became a routine assignment for me. On August 19, 1962, as I was waiting out in front of Lawford’s house, a Police officer gave me a tip that JFK was taking a swim in the ocean on the backside of the house. I rushed down to the water’s edge, dressed in a suit and tie, kicked off my shoes, and waded into waist deep water with my trusty Rolleiflex camera, just in time to capture what turned out to be a once-in-a-lifetime photo. The next morning it was the front page of the newspaper. It was even nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.”

  This piece is also available as part of the JFK*100 PORTFOLIO which includes a top sheet signed by President Kennedy's sister Jean Kennedy Smith to benefit the library.

16" x 20"

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