NPR logo

Who Gets To See The President's Pajamas?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/130920061/130952920" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Who Gets To See The President's Pajamas?

Saw It On The Radio

Who Gets To See The President's Pajamas?

Who Gets To See The President's Pajamas?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/130920061/130952920" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

What's it like to see the president in his pajamas? There are a few people who might know: his children, the first lady, perhaps his highest aides — and his photographer.

John F. Kennedy was the first president to have an official photographer — Cecil Stoughton — starting in 1963. Since then, nearly every president has had a photographer follow him from the most public appearance to the most stressful situation to the quietest moment. Today, Pete Souza follows Obama around the world, and you can follow him on Flickr.

The President's Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office, National Geographic Books, November 2010 hide caption

toggle caption

A new National Geographic book, The President's Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office anthologizes some of the presidency's most iconic and intimate moments. Lyndon B. Johnson takes the oath of office on Air Force One after Kennedy's assassination. Betty Ford dances on the Cabinet Room table on one of her last nights in the White House. President Obama lets a young boy feel his hair.

Two presidential photographers — David Hume Kennerly (Gerald Ford) and David Valdez (George H. W. Bush) — join NPR host Liane Hansen on Weekend Edition Sunday to discuss their experiences.