University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the David Hume Kennerly Photographic Archive, 1966-

Descriptive Summary

Creator Kennerly, David Hume
Title: A Guide to the David Hume Kennerly Photographic Archive
Dates: 1966-
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

David Hume Kennerly began his professional career in 1966 as a photographer for the Oregon Journal. After joining United Press International in 1967, Kennerly worked in Los Angeles (1967-1968), New York (1968-1969), and Washington, D.C. (1969-1970). In 1971, UPI sent Kennerly to South Vietnam, where in 1972 he won a Pulitzer Prize for his feature photography of the Vietnam War. Kennerly also received the Wilson Hicks Award for excellence in reporting with a camera, first prize in the World Press Photo Contest for his coverage of Cambodia, and the Overseas Press Club's Olivier Rebbot Award for his inside story of the Reagan/Gorbachev Summit in Geneva.

From 1972 until 1974, Kennerly worked as a contract photographer for Time magazine. In August 1974, President Gerald R. Ford invited Kennerly to serve as his personal photographer. As Family Week later reported, the Pulitzer Prize winner accepted the job only on the condition that he have "the freedom to walk in and out of the President's office at will to take whatever pictures he felt were part of history." As a result, Kennerly's pictures from his three years in the White House have an immediacy rarely matched by the work of previous official presidential photographers.

From the 1970s through the 1990s Kennerly worked as a photographer for Time (1973-1974, 1977-1990), Life (1972, 1993-1996), and George (1996-1999) magazines, and as a writer and television producer/director. Shooter, his autobiography, was published in 1979, followed by Photo Op: A Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographer Covers Events that Shaped Our Times (1995) and Photo du Jour: A Picture-A-Day Journey through the First Year of the New Millennium (2002). The Center for American History has presented photographic exhibitions based on the latter two publications. Kennerly's television productions include Shooter (1987) and The Taking of Flight 847 - The Uli Derickson Story (1988), the latter the recipient of an Emmy award nomination. He is currently a contributing editor to Newsweek magazine.

Scope and Contents

Mr. Kennerly is at work on a long-term project to digitize his vast archive of images currently existing in transparent formats (positive and negative film). When completed, these materials will be accessible on CD. Until then, a limited number of photographic prints may be viewed at the Center for research purposes. For photographic reproductions, please contact Mr. Kennerly at


Unrestricted and restricted access.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

David Hume Kennerly Photographic Archive, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Detailed Description of the Archive



3V1 Magazines containing Kennerly work
Shooter scripts, by Stephen Kline and David Hume Kennerly, 1988
The American Bachelors Register: An Intimate Look at America's Most Eligible Bachelors, by Celeste Freemon, 1982
President Ford itineraries, 1974-1975
3V2 2 plaques
Douglas County, Oregon, undated
Iceland, 1986
Hô Chí Minh City, 1982
Textbook, Press Time, by Julian Adams and Kenneth Stratton, 1985
Shooter script, by Stephen Kline and David Hume Kennerly, 1988
The Body Politic script, by Stephen Kline and David Hume Kennerly, 1990
Sharing Christmas, ed. by Deborah Raffin, 1990
Miscellaneous printed material
3F253 Press passes, membership cards, passports, printed material
2.325/OD6 Poster of Time Magazine covers
2.325/D19c Poster and brochure from exhibit "Capturing History: The Photography of David Hume Kennerly" at the University Library Gallery, CSU-Sacramento. The signature image featured on these items is the photograph Five Presidents, showing presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barak Obama in the Oval Office, 2009.
3F314 Correspondence:
June - September, 1974
3F315 October - December, 1974
Gerald Ford, note on the death of Nelson Rockefeller, [photocopy] 1979
3F316 1975-1976
2.325/C31 Shooter/White House Memorandum
Travel documents
George Bush
Nancy and Ronald Reagan
William J. Clinton
Yousuf Karsh
Christie Hefner
Kenneth W. Starr
Sandra Day O'Connor
United States Senate and Congress
White House
King Hussein of Jordan
Donald Rumsfeld
Colin Powell
David Rockefeller
Alexander Haig
Bob Dole stationary and envelopes
Press kits and press passes
Press schedules
Lillehammer Olympic Accreditation
David Hume Kennerly:
Business cards and Christmas cards
Collectible postage stamps
Press passes and press authorization
Who's Who certificates
Japanese prints
Life Magazine stationary
Time; American Photo
Pamphlets, programs and envelopes
Photographs of Kennerly and family
Campaign buttons
Lens cover; tie clip; baseball cards
2.325/C32 Correspondence:
Gerald Ford and family
Christmas cards: from the Nixons; the Rockefellers; the Bushes; the Reagans; the Fords; O'Connors and others
A Presidential Tribute to Gerald R. Ford, April 16, 1997
3F317 Photo Op, drafts
Photo Op, Jeff McNelly cartoon "The Adventures of a Baby Boomer"
2.325/B36 Gerald Ford, note on the death of Rockefeller, [original- ACCESS RESTRICTED] 1979
3S49.1 Photographs
3S356 Photograph of Alfred Smith [autographed], Photograph of George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush [autographed], 1999
Miscellaneous photographs of David Hume Kennerly
Photographs of Gerald Ford at Shamrock Hotel in Houston, Texas, February 1976
Contact sheets of filming of Dogs of War, 1980
Life magazine with photo essay by David Hume Kennerly, March 1993
Extent [2 copies]
3V113 Black and white photographs of Gerald R. Ford presidency
Miscellaneous black and white photographs
Photo Op second edition replacement images
3S345-3S355 Mounted photographs
3V96-98 Mounted and color photographs
3X137-138a Contact sheets from book project [ Photo du Jour]
3So34a Oversize photographs, certificates, awards, printed material
3So34b Oversize photograph albums
3So35b-c Oversize photograph albums
2X46 Audiocassette:
Interview with David Kennerly, at KUT by Olive Graham, March 31, 1993
3V1 VHS videocassettes:
"Good Morning America," February 18, 1991
3Y202 Interview of David Kennerly, ABC News "Nightline: The Killing Fields Revisited," August 10, 1993
Interview of David Kennerly, Dick Swanson, and Dirck Halstead, "Dateline," 1994
3W96a David Hume Kennerly's fiftieth birthday party, Germaine's, Washington, DC, March 8, 1997
2 Film/E150 16 mm. motion picture film
3R193 Digital media:
Harpo Lives!, screensaver software for Microsoft Windows
Photo Op interactive CD-ROM [nonfunctioning mock-up]
Photo Op interactive CD-ROM
Artifact Collection