Photographer on iconic photo of Oswald death: "He fired and I punched the button"

(CBS News) The life and death of President John F. Kennedy is part of our national memory and nearly half a century later, his legacy continues in images and stories.

Bob Jackson was 29 years old and a staff photographer for the Dallas Times Herald, assigned to cover the president's visit. He was a few cars behind Kennedy when he was assassinated, sitting in an open convertible for members of the press.

Special section: The JFK Assassination

Jackson told CBS News' Anna Werner that covering the president that was a "fairly hectic scene" and that everyone was "jockeying for a position to get pictures." He also said that they talked about the possibility of something happening that day.

"It was a subject that we talked about," he said. "That's a pretty good place if somebody wanted to shoot the president."

But no one, including Jackson, expected what happened next.

"I just looked up, right at it and I could see the rifle resting on the window ledge," he said.

Jackson couldn't take a photograph. His camera was empty.

"I was pretty upset," he said. "I went back to it many times."

He told Werner that if the story had ended right there, it would have been one of missed opportunities.

That Sunday morning, Jackson had his next assignment, to get a photo of Lee Harvey Oswald.


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