Kennedy in State, Washington, D.C., 1963

“National Geographic had volunteered to prepare a quality book on the White House that could be made available to guests of state and also sold to tourists visiting the White House. Over a three year period, I wound up doing photography not only for the first edition but for three complete revisions since Mrs. Kennedy was completely redecorating the president's residence at that time. This led to another book on The Living White House which I had just finished photographing. I was on my way to Tennessee on vacation when I heard the tragic news on the radio, and immediately returned to Washington to help photograph the funeral. It was a time of great tragedy and grief.”

Location: The Rotunda, The Capitol, Washington, District of Columbia.

Photograph Date: 1963
Medium: Chromogenic Print
Edition: 200

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About the Photographer

George F. Mobley

For 33 years George Mobley was a staff photographer for National Geographic magazine. His career led him through a broad variety of assignments, ranging from covering the White House during the Kennedy years to documenting the collapse of the Allende government in Chile.

He has worked on projects on every continent, covering areas as diverse as the Hindu Kush, the former Soviet Union, China, Mongolia, the Ganges River, the Amazon, the Japan Alps, Lebanon, and the Atacama Desert. He was helping an archaeologist excavate a site in the Guatemala jungle when they discovered a Mayan tomb. During the signing of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. nuclear test ban treaty he made the first authorized photograph ever produced of the U.S. Senate in session.

Mobley's African experience ranges from the Mediterranean to the Cape of Good Hope in areas as different as the Okavango and the Sahara. He has climbed Mount Kenya and covered the Great Rift Valley, the Nile River, Uganda, many of the national parks of Kenya and Tanzania, and a range of subjects in Egypt, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and South Africa.

His love of the outdoors has led to a well-deserved reputation as an adventurer. His long enchantment with the Arctic regions of the Earth have led to a variety of assignments in Greenland, Scandinavia, Siberia, northern Canada, and Antarctica.

Mobley has taught photo workshops and advanced photojournalism. His work in photojournalism has received numerous awards from the National Press Photographers Association, the White House News Photographers Association, and the Art Directors Club, among others.

Californian by birth, Mobley grew up on a small farm near the California-Oregon state line. He attended Linfield College in Oregon for a year and then entered the Air Force, where he worked in the information services career field. There he combined a love of photography with a love of writing and editing. After his service in the Air Force, Mobley went to the University of Missouri, where he graduated with a degree in journalism.

He lives with his wife, Marilyn, on a 70-acre (28-hectare) farm on the north fork of the Shenandoah River.

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