Stan Stearns, a UPI photojournalist whose photo of John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting his father’s coffin during the funeral cortege became an icon of the 1960s, died March 2. He was 76.
The Washington Post cited the photo, along with those of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima during World War II, a South Vietnamese general’s street-side execution of a suspected Viet Cong and a picture of a naked Vietnamese girl fleeing a napalm attack, as among the most definitive images of the mid-20th century.
As a staff photographer at United Press International, his only extra compensation for the photo, reprinted many times over the years, was $25 for picture of the month at UPI, Stearns said.
Stearns was born in Annapolis, Md., where his parents owned a jewelry shop. He received a Brownie Flash Six-20 camera as a bar mitzvah present and was working at the Annapolis newspaper as a photographer by the time he was 16. He was an Air Force photographer before joining UPI.
He ran a photography studio in Annapolis from the mid-1970s until his death. The JFK Jr. photo can be seen on the studio’s website: www.ssphotography.com. — jta