Shoot To Thrill p. 16

By: DOROTHY GIOBBE WHEN MARTY Lederhandler talks about his work as a senior staff photographer for the Associated Press, his memories are as sharp and focused as the lens on his camera.
There isn't much the 78-year-old Lederhandler has missed. Toss out virtually any name from the mid-to-late 20th century world of politics, entertainment and general news makers, and Lederhandler has caught them in the cross hairs of his camera.
This year marks his 60th anniversary with the AP, and despite a perennial vow to retire "next year," Lederhandler doesn't seem ready to slow down at all.
Lederhandler's lifelong passion for his work began as a boy, when he built a darkroom in the basement of the Brooklyn drugstore where he worked. Today, he says, he "can't imagine" doing anything else.
After joining the AP as a messenger in 1936, Lederhandler was drafted during World War II in 1941. He served as an armed services photographer during the war.
Lederhandler has a treasure trove of stories from his days in the service, including encounters with one of this century's most influential writers.
Ernest Hemingway traveled with Lederhandler's rough-riding unit for a time during the war, and as Lederhandler remembers it, "Papa" often found ways to make his stint in the war a little more comfortable.
"Hemingway would make detours through small French towns that were removed from the fighting," Lederhandler remembers. "Arriving in town, he would announce that he was there to 'liberate' the town in the name of the United States Army and the American president.
"The people in the town treated him like a big hero, and they would put him up at the hotel, and he would stay there for two or three days, get drunk, and have a wonderful time, all because he 'liberated' this little town," Lederhandler said. "He would do a lot of that."
After returning to the U.S. after the war, Lederhandler was appointed a staff photographer at the AP in 1947.
He worked on such stories as the Rosenberg spy case, the riots in Harlem after the assassination of Martin Luther King, and he managed to capture a much-distributed shot of Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro embracing at the United Nations.
One of his most cherished memories is of his experience photographing Marilyn Monroe.
Upon arriving at Monroe's East 57th Street apartment, Aurthur Miller greeted them at the door. Miller told them Monroe would be right out and left them sitting in a plush, all-white living room with a bottle of scotch.
Monroe finally made her entrance an hour and a half later, cooing apologies. Lederhandler remembers her as a riveting vision in a clinging black dress, white bow tie, and perfectly coiffed blonde curls.
"She was gorgeous," Lederhandler said. "Marilyn sat there three feet in front of me for about half an hour and I really was in awe of her. I was quite thrilled about it."
Lederhandler caught Sir Winston Churchill on his way back through New York City after delivering the famous "Iron Curtain" speech in 1946.
At the shoot, Lederhandler knelt at the prime minister's feet to set up the camera as Churchill sat in a chair, gripping a thick cigar in one hand and a snifter of brandy in the other.
The prime minister peered down at Lederhandler, mumbled a greeting and then advised him never to shoot "until you see the whites of their eyes."
Lederhandler says the most photogenic politicians he has worked with include presidents Johnson and Kennedy, and former New York City major Edward I. Koch.
The subject of numerous media profiles for his 60th anniversary with the AP, Lederhandler says he may write a book about his experiences.
After 60 years at the Associated Press,
photographer Marty Lederhandler shows no signs of slowing down
Lederhandler's December 1994 photo of a group of New York City Santas coming to the aid of an accident victim has won numerous awards. Lederhandler said when the victim awoke, he asked if he was at the North Pole.
?(Laderhandler's December 1994 photo of a group of New York City Santas coming to the aid of an accident victim has won numerous awards. Lederhandler said when when the victim awoke, he asked if if he was at the
North Pole.) [Photo & Caption]
?(Photographer Marty Lederhandler celebrtes 60 years of service for the Associated Press) [Photo & Caption]
?(Lederhandler was on of the few people who was able to squeeze close enough to capture this 1960 shot of Fidel Castro and Nikita Khruschchev hugging each other at the United Nations) [Photo & Caption]


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here