The Digital Journalist
Remembering Ronald Reagan
July 2004

by David Hume Kennerly

When I first looked through my lens at Ronald Reagan in 1967, I saw a star. He was governor of California, and I was a 20-year-old UPI photographer recently arrived in Los Angeles from Oregon. Reagan was a package of charisma, affability, and professionalism all rolled up into one. It seemed he could do everything but leap tall buildings at a single bound. Reagan was then, and remained until he died, a magnet to the press and the public. Veteran reporters like Lou Cannon, who covered him from his early days as a politician through his presidency, gave him grudging credit and respect, even though he and other newsmen were unsure whether or not Reagan was intelligent. No matter what you thought of him politically or personally, one thing was crystal clear to the photographers - the guy came through in pictures, and that was the bedrock of his success. Maybe we shooters weren't so smart either, but we knew a winner when we saw one!

© David Hume Kennerly
Newsweek Contributing Editor

David Hume Kennerly has been photographing history for four decades. For more of David Kennerly's photographs, go to