Bill Eppridge, photographer at RFK assassination, dies

DANBURY, Conn. Photojournalist Bill Eppridge, whose career included capturing images of a mortally-wounded Robert F. Kennedy, has died at age 75.

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He died Thursday at a Danbury hospital after a brief illness, said his wife, Adrienne Aurichio.

Eppridge was at the scene on June 5, 1968, when Kennedy, then a U.S. senator who had just won California's Democratic presidential primary, had addressed campaign supporters at a Los Angeles hotel and was walking through its kitchen. He took some of the most well-known images after Kennedy was shot.

One of those images, published in Life magazine, showed Kennedy lying on the floor in a pool of his blood, a hotel employee kneeling next to him.

Eppridge's career also included stints working for high-profile magazines such as Sports Illustrated and National Geographic.

The original gelatin print of Bill Eppridge's photo of Robert F. Kennedy as he lay dying in the Ambassador Hotel, L.A., 1968. The print was damaged in a house fire. Bill Eppridge/Monroe Gallery of Photography

He photographed a wide range of subjects, including the Beatles, young people in what was then the Soviet Union, the Olympics, wars and Woodstock.

Eppridge, who lived in Connecticut, always had a camera with him, Aurichio said.

"He was a photojournalist to the end," she said.

A book of Eppridge's photographs of the Fab Four, "The Beatles: Six Days That Changed the World. February, 1964" (Rizzoli), is coming out early next year.

Rizzoli Books editor Robb Pearlman said of Eppridge, "He was an amazing photographer, but more than that, a gentleman and a mensch. He told us amazing stories about his time at Life Magazine, sometimes several times over, but they never got old."

Eppridge's funeral will be private, with a memorial service to follow, she said.