Cecil W. Stoughton

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Cecil W. Stoughton (1962)

Cecil William Stoughton (born January 18, 1920 in Oskaloosa, Iowa; † November 3, 2008 in Merritt Island, Florida) was an American photographer. He was the first photographer to officially document the tenure of a U.S. president and worked in the White House from 1961 to 1965, first for John F. Kennedy, then for Lyndon B. Johnson.


Stoughton attended college and then enlisted for service in the US Army. He trained as a photographer there, under Alfred Eisenstaedt and Margaret Bourke-White, among others. He also learned camera work in Hollywood, including working for future President Ronald Reagan. During World War II, he served in the Army’s First Motion Picture Unit (FMPU) and worked for the United States Army Signal Corps.

Captain Stoughton photographed in and for the White House since the inauguration on January 20, 1961. In addition to Kennedy, his wife Jacqueline and children were also subjects. In the 34 months of Kennedy’s term until his assassination, he took some 12,000 photos, including one with Robert F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe. He was the only photographer aboard Air Force One when it flew back to Washington after the assassination. It was here that he took his photo of Lyndon B. Johnson taking the oath of office to Judge Sarah T. Hughes. In 1967, Stoughton retired as a major and went to work for the National Park Service. Many of his photographs are now held by the presidential libraries (John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and Lyndon Baines Johnson Library & Museum).


  • With Chester V. Clifton, Hugh Sidey: The Memories – JFK, 1961-1963. Norton, New York 1973.
  • Richard Reeves, Harvey Sawler, with photographs by Cecil W. Stoughton : Portrait of Camelot: a thousand days in the Kennedy White House. Abrams, New York 2010, ISBN 978-0-81099-585-7.

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