Bernie Boston

Bernie Boston (1933-2008) was a news photographer best remembered for his 1967 photograph showing an antiwar protester tucking carnations in the rifle barrels of soldiers guarding the Pentagon. He graduated in 1955 from the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, attended the Air Force's School of Aviation Medicine and served in the Army for two years in Germany as a radiologist in a neurosurgical unit.
During a long career in Washington, D.C., where he was born, Mr. Boston covered every president from Lyndon B. Johnson to Bill Clinton. He also captured intriguing moments of the civil rights movement and related news, including the Poor People's Campaign and President Richard M. Nixon shaking hands with protesters after the 1968 riots in Washington. Mr. Boston, who retired from the Los Angeles Times, was working for the Washington Star on Oct. 21, 1967, when he took the image he called "Flower Power." He remained with the Star, an afternoon paper, until it folded in 1981 and then inaugurated a photo operation in the Los Angeles Times Washington bureau.
He retired from the Times in 1993 and settled the next year in the Shenandoah Valley. In 2000, he and his wife bought the Bryce Mountain Courier, a monthly newspaper. In 1987, he took a memorable photograph of Coretta Scott King unveiling a bust of her slain husband, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. The image was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, as was his 1967 shot at the Pentagon protest. He developed instincts about emotionally revealing moments, catching a grim-faced Pope John Paul II staring down the media in 1979 and first daughter Chelsea Clinton retrieving her father's notes after they dropped during his 1993 inauguration.
Mr. Boston received numerous professional honors, including the highest award of the National Press Photographers Association and induction into the Hall of Fame of Sigma Delta Chi, the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2006, the Rochester Institute of Technology published a collection of Mr. Boston's photos spanning 40 years.
Bernie Boston's complete photo archive is held in the RIT Archives. For more information on this collection, visit or email the RIT Archives at

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