Daily Picture Show

Bill Eppridge, Photographer Who Captured RFK's Death, Dies at 75

  • Rigid, semiconscious, his face an ashen mask, Sen. Robert Kennedy lies in a pool of his own blood on the concrete floor, a bullet deep in his brain and another in his neck. Juan Romero, a busboy whose hand Kennedy had shaken before the shots, tried to comfort him.
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    Rigid, semiconscious, his face an ashen mask, Sen. Robert Kennedy lies in a pool of his own blood on the concrete floor, a bullet deep in his brain and another in his neck. Juan Romero, a busboy whose hand Kennedy had shaken before the shots, tried to comfort him.
    Bill Eppridge/Courtesy of Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • Kennedy gives a victory speech at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles before his assassination, June 1968. He had just won the California presidential primary.
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    Kennedy gives a victory speech at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles before his assassination, June 1968. He had just won the California presidential primary.
    Bill Eppridge/Courtesy of Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • Heading for his victory speech in the Ambassador Hotel ballroom, Kennedy stops in the kitchen to shake hands. A few minutes later the gunman was waiting for him in the corridor just outside the kitchen.
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    Heading for his victory speech in the Ambassador Hotel ballroom, Kennedy stops in the kitchen to shake hands. A few minutes later the gunman was waiting for him in the corridor just outside the kitchen.
    Bill Eppridge/Courtesy of Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • Astronaut James Lovell's family at home during the Apollo 13 crisis, April 1970.
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    Astronaut James Lovell's family at home during the Apollo 13 crisis, April 1970.
    Bill Eppridge/Courtesy of Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • Barbra Streisand in a recording studio in 1966, listening to herself sing.
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    Barbra Streisand in a recording studio in 1966, listening to herself sing.
    Bill Eppridge/Courtesy of Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • Streisand in the kitchen of her New York City apartment, 1964. The bathtub in the kitchen was standard for that type of apartment.
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    Streisand in the kitchen of her New York City apartment, 1964. The bathtub in the kitchen was standard for that type of apartment.
    Bill Eppridge/Landov
  • Ed McMahon (from left), an unidentified man, Barbra Streisand and Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, New York City, 1964.
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    Ed McMahon (from left), an unidentified man, Barbra Streisand and Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, New York City, 1964.
    Bill Eppridge/Landov
  • Sen. Edward Kennedy holds baby Rory Elizabeth Katherine Kennedy as Robert Kennedy's widow, Ethel, looks on, after Rory's January 1969 baptism in McLean, Va. Rory was the last of Ethel and Robert's 11 children.
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    Sen. Edward Kennedy holds baby Rory Elizabeth Katherine Kennedy as Robert Kennedy's widow, Ethel, looks on, after Rory's January 1969 baptism in McLean, Va. Rory was the last of Ethel and Robert's 11 children.
    Bill Eppridge/Landov
  • Gov. Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy Reagan in California, August 1974.
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    Gov. Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy Reagan in California, August 1974.
    Bill Eppridge/Landov
  • Cesar Chavez of the United Farm Workers Union, April 1974, California.
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    Cesar Chavez of the United Farm Workers Union, April 1974, California.
    Bill Eppridge/Landov
  • Swathed in bandages after a brutal beating scene in Dirty Harry, Clint Eastwood rarely escaped mayhem in films. His fans appreciate that he gives more than he takes.
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    Swathed in bandages after a brutal beating scene in Dirty Harry, Clint Eastwood rarely escaped mayhem in films. His fans appreciate that he gives more than he takes.
    Bill Eppridge/Courtesy of Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

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Bill Eppridge holds the camera he used to take the iconic photograph of Robert F. Kennedy after he was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in 1968. i i

hide captionBill Eppridge holds the camera he used to take the iconic photograph of Robert F. Kennedy after he was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in 1968.

Aristide Economopoulos/Star Ledger via Corbis
Bill Eppridge holds the camera he used to take the iconic photograph of Robert F. Kennedy after he was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in 1968.

Bill Eppridge holds the camera he used to take the iconic photograph of Robert F. Kennedy after he was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in 1968.

Aristide Economopoulos/Star Ledger via Corbis

Bill Eppridge, a legendary photojournalist who spent most of his career working for Life magazine and Sports Illustrated, died Thursday in Danbury, Conn. He had been suffering from a blood infection brought on by a fall that injured his hand, according to the National Press Photographers Association. He was 75.

According to The Echo Foundation, Eppridge began his photojournalism career as a student at the University of Missouri in 1960. He later embarked on a nine-month journey around the world on his first professional assignment for National Geographic. He then started shooting for Life — a publication he had admired since childhood.

During the course of his career with Life, Eppridge covered, among other stories, revolutions in Latin America, the Beatles' arrival in the U.S., a young Barbra Streisand, a story on heroin addiction and the funeral of slain civil rights worker James Chaney in Mississippi in 1964.

Eppridge is perhaps most famously known for photographing the death of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles in 1968. He had followed Kennedy on the campaign trail in 1966 and had intimate access to the senator. The night of the assassination, Eppridge covered Kennedy's speech to a packed ballroom, then followed him back to the hotel kitchen, where he was shot in a nearby passageway by 24-year-old Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan. Eppridge's photo of Kennedy on the floor being held by busboy Juan Romero is a stark, haunting image, where the senator is seen illuminated by a halo of light.

(View a full gallery of Eppridge's images from that night at LIFE.com.)

After Life folded in 1972, Eppridge went on to work at Sports Illustrated as well as becoming a teacher at Yale and various photo workshops. At the time of his death he was working with his wife, Adrienne Aurichio, on a photo book showcasing his work covering the Beatles' invasion of America. The book is due to be released in early 2014.

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