Bernie Boston 1933-2008

Frank Van Riper talks about his friendship withBernie Boston, perhaps best known for his “Flower Power” photograph.

His 1967 photo “Flower Power,” a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize, was perhaps the most iconic photo of the turbulent 60s, showing a long-haired antiwar protestor shoving carnations into the gun barrels of MPs during an anti-Vietnam protest at the Pentagon.

Bernie had the ability so common in great photographers and journalists (and in great artists in general) to be fascinated by everything around him. People especially fascinated him—their foibles, their faces, their triumphs and tragedies. But almost never their position or their power.

His wife Peggy, who met him when they worked together on the Washington Star recalls:

“I started at The Star on April 24, which happened to be exactly one year after Bernie started there. He began hanging around the promotion department, where I worked, admired my long hair (who didn’t have long, straight hair in 1968?) asked me to come to his place so he could take pictures, and on our third date romantically said, ‘We should get married.’”


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