Posted by Michael Putzel • October 10, 2015
WASHINGTON–Jerry Parr, the quiet, quick-thinking bodyguard who saved President Ronald Reagan’s life in the minutes after an attempted assassination, has died at 85. I don’t write news or obits anymore, but I got to know Parr after the events of that fateful day brought us together.
I was the Associated Press White House correspondent covering Reagan that day at what was expected to be a routine speech in the basement ballroom of the Washington Hilton Hotel, 1.4 miles north of the presidential mansion. As soon as the speech ended, those of us traveling in the motorcade scampered up the steps and out onto the Hilton’s private drive to watch Reagan come out a door reserved for VIPs and get into his armored limousine parked at the curb.
Jerry Parr with President Reagan […] READ MORE
Posted by Michael Putzel • October 09, 2015
Associated Press photographer Sal Veder’s iconic image of a family welcoming its POW dad home from Vietnam has personified the joy of freedom for more than 40 years.
Veder recently retold the story to The Guardian of how he got that Pulitzer Prize-winning image on March 17, 1973, at Travis Air Force Base in California. Bill Dowell, a long-ago colleague of mine, pointed out that the photo hardly hinted at the truth: The day after he was released after more than five years in captivity and before he was flown home to the States, Air Force Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm received a letter from his wife Loretta (2nd from right) telling him their marriage was over. There followed a protracted and bitter dispute between the returned POW and his wife that split the family […] READ MORE