Ron Bennett Information

Visual storyteller, Stock and fine art photographer, Photojournalist, Photo Editor.



Ron Bennett a Visual storyteller, was born in Portland, Oregon and always wanted to be a photojournalist from the time he was 5 years old.  Worked for Lake Oswego Photographers and Lake Oswego Review, Oregon during high school.  After college moved to Los Angeles to shoot Hollywood, News and sports and then on to Washington, D.C.  

Well known photographs include: Senator Robert F. Kennedy assassination by Sirhan Sirhan in Los Angeles California, President Nixon resigns and departs south Lawn of White House with victory sign, President Ford runs on tarmac to Air Force One after avoiding Helen Thomas questions on Vietnam pull out.  President Carter, Sadat and Began at Camp David peace accord and many more.  Sports pictures are in Hall of Fame (baseball, basketball and football).

Ron Bennett has an uncanny ability to get where the action is and behind the scenes
of a story with his camera.

Bennett’s career began as a newspaper (Oregon Journal/Oregonian) photographer in Oregon, after which he joined the staff of United Press International, Los Angeles, California and then Washington, D.C.  Photo Editor The San Diego Union and The Executive Branch of the US government.  While at UPI he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his photographs of the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy.  He has received numerous other photo honors including first place awards from the National Headliners, White House News Photographers, National Press Photographers, World Press Photo, California News Photographers and Los Angeles News Photographers.  He worked with Presidents from Kennedy to Bush and their Cabinets.  Exhibitor in juried arts shows in Northern Virginia, Southern California and Arizona.  Marketing photographs and note cards nationally and internationally.

Bennett has photographed some of his generation’s biggest stories including: 

Watts riots, Charles Manson murders of Sharon Tate; Anti-war demonstrations; bombing of the U.S. Capitol; Watergate; the return of POW’s from Vietnam; Vietnam My Lai courts-martial; Three Mile Island melt down; Eruption of Mount St. Helen’s; Fall of the Shah of Iran; Commercial airline crashes; Space shuttles; Pope John Paul visit to the USA; Hollywood; Academy Awards;  Olympics; Championship NFL, NBA, NHL; World Series baseball;  Rose Bowl;  World Champion Heavyweight Boxing;  National Democratic and Republican Conventions; Campaign of Presidents;  Inauguration of Presidents;  Travel with Presidents of the United States, both abroad and within the USA; President Nixon’s resignation;  President Ford’s pardon of Nixon;  Camp David Peace Accord; United Nations; First American invited by President Castro to Cuba; Assassination attempts on Gov. George Wallace, and Presidents’ Ford and Reagan; Reagan and Gorbachev summits, Attack on Twin Towers in Manhattan, NY and Pentagon,and travel around the world.


Senator Robert F. Kennedy assassination photographs led to Pulitzer Prize nomination for photojournalism.  These pictures were published in UPI’s book “Assassination,” along with personal account of the tragedy.

Pulitzer Prize nominations for photojournalism,

World Press Photo, The Hague - Spot News.

Venice Camera Contest - News and Sports.

National Headliners - Spot News, “Outstanding Achievement in News Photography.”

California Press Photographers Association - Gold Seal Competition - Spot News and Sports.

Greater Los Angeles Press Club - Spot News.

National Press Photographers - Picture of the Year for Features.

Member Board of Directors, Los Angeles Press Photographers.

Forest Lawn Photographers Competition and Exhibition - Award for Feature Photography.

United Press International - Certificates of Merit for Spot News and Sports.

Associated Press - Certificates of Merit.

National Press Photographers - Outboard marine Contest, Feature Photography.

White House News Photographers Association - Presidential, News, Features and Sports.

United Press International - Certificates of Merit for Feature Photography.

White House News Photographers Association - Personality Photography.

Library of Congress Photography Exhibit,

White House News Photographers Association Board of Directors.

National Headliners - Award for Outstanding Syndicate Photography.

United States Senate Press Photographers Gallery, member Standing Committee, Secretary/Treasurer,

US Government awards for outstanding achievements.

Juried art shows in Northern Virginia, Southern California and Arizona.

International Exhibition of Photography, Del Mar, CA., 

Biographical record in “Who’s Who in America.”

The Briscoe Center for American History, LBJ Library, University of Texas, Austin, TX. has acquired the archive of Pulitzer Prize–nominated photojournalist Ron Bennett.

Award winning Fine Art Stock Photography by Ron Bennett, Licensing for STOCK photographs, FINE ART photography PRINTS for sale.    


 "From Presidents to politics, from sports to scenics, from business to breaking news, Ron Bennett's photographs help define the very top level of the news photography professional. As an editor, even more important to me than his breadth is his consistent delivery of highest quality, most memorable pictures under the very most competitive of circumstances. Shooting against the elite of the business, his work has regularly come out on top. You are absolutely in skilled and versatile hands with Ron Bennett."     

Sandra Eisert, Picture Editor at The White House


“Ron Bennett has packed more photojournalism and photography into his life than almost anyone I know. He is a consummate professional, as comfortable working with presidents of the United States as he is photographing wild life and scenes of breathtaking beauty."  
Dirck Halstead, Senior White House Photographer, Time Magazine


“Ron Bennett is an old and dear friend, and a brilliant photographer. I have enjoyed seeing his photos since I started in the business, and like a good wine he gets better with age!"  David H.Kennerly, Contributing Editor               
 David Hume Kennerly Photography        


“Ron Bennett is one of those unusual image makers who excels in both photojournalism and fine art photography. His many years of award winning work as a distinguished UPI photographer covering the White House attest to his ability to deliver under deadline pressures, while his fine art
images reveal his sensitivity for composition, light and color. His time spent as an editor gives him another dimension in working with clients."
Arnold H. Drapkin, Picture Eidtor, TIME Magazine


“Ron was renowned at United Press International for being one of the elite photographers in the Washington DC bureau.”   Mark Loundy, Photojournalist and editor, Various


“Not only is Ron Bennett a pioneer in the field of photojournalism, but he is a premier fine arts photographer. His portfolio displays his masterful style, which is marked by strong composition, bold colors, and a sense of drama. Most of all, his work resonates with warmth and humanity.”  
Suzanne “S.K.” Whang, Communications Editor, U.S. Department of State


"Ron exemplifies the best of photojournalism. His photographs were always better than the assignment he was given. He is easy to work with, and often produces compelling photos that are more informative than the story itself."  Gary Haynes, Assistant Managing Editor Photo/Graphics at Philadelphia Inquirer


"I have known Ron since the mid-70's when we were photographing presidents at the White House. Ron's devotion and commitment to his work is evidenced on his web site where so many captivating images highlight his talent. I would recommend Ron and his photos to all who have a desire for professionalism and quality."  Peter Bregg, Associated Press Photographer, Current Instructor in Journalism School of Ryerson University Toronto.


“Ron's a top pro. There's only a handful of photojournalists who have the same amount of experience and knowledge. I can heartily recommend him for any job or assignment.”  Gary Kemper, Newspictures Bureau Manager, London, UPI


“I worked with Ron in Washington, DC, while I was a photographer for Time magazine. Ron is a first rate photographer, with a very fine eye. He is also a very fine human being.”  
Steve Northup, Photographer, Time/Life Inc.


“In the field of production, you get the chance to work with great people and occasionally there's that one rare individual that stands out and brings something extra to the table. This would be Ron Bennett. Not only has this man seen the history of the world through the life and lens of presidents and dignitaries, but when it comes to his perception of how landscapes, people and places should be portrayed, he's one of the best. And it's not just the final product on paper that's good about Ron, but his personality, willingness to help and go the extra mile and really participate in getting the best result possible that makes him stand out in a field of select professionals. A review of his varied work will confirm my impressions of Ron. I'd work with this man again any time just to be around his integrity and genius.”     Ron Boat, Executive Producer

“Ron is the most dedicated, talented, personable photographer I have had the pleasure to work with. The quality of his work is impeccable and reflects in the product he produces. As a presidential photographer for many years you will be hard pressed to find someone with his level of experience and expertise. He is one of the most honest people I have ever had the pleasure to work with. I would give him my highest recommendation!”  
Dr. Stephen Mattson, Senior Regional Flight Surgeon/Emergency Physician, US Navy


Rotary International  

"In 1992 I was the Financial Campaign Manager for a fund-raising effort by La Jolla Rotary Club for a project in Mexico to supply electricity, water, and sewage facilities for an emerging much-needed school. Travel to the project was an ordeal for many Rotarians of mature years and the success of the campaign required that they have varied images of need and location.

Powerful photographs were essential.

Ron Bennett’s photography was so powerful week after week that the Club’s successful campaign of exceeding its goal enabled its extraordinarily skillful grant writer to qualify La Jolla Rotary for the largest matching grant in the world that year by Rotary International.

Many local Rotarians and Rotary International supported an unglamorous but essential project without ever visiting the site. Why? Ron Bennett’s photography."

Burton Housman
Honorary Member
La Jolla Rotary Club


“I have worked with Ron in Washington for over 20 years and have a great respect for the vision he brings to his photography.”  Mike Geissinger, Independent Professional, Geissinger Photography


"Ron Bennett is an ace photographer who has done an outstanding job for UPI. He is alert, energetic and enthusiastic—all the attributes of a good journalist. He also keeps up with the news and those in the news, and his photographs reflect an extra sensitivity to the woes and joys of the politicians he covers with his camera."     Helen Thomas, Senior UPI White House Correspondent,  


“Ron has a unique eye for catching the decisive moments.”  Jim Domke, Sunday Photo Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer     


“Ron exemplifies the best that photojournalism has to offer! His images reflect his innate ability to capture iconic images of the story and from behind the scenes.” 
Mickey Osterreicher, General Counsel, National Press Photographers Association, (NPPA)     


"Hi Ron:

Please allow me a little story – 

I grew up looking at pictures from the New York Daily News; my father loved the sports section. They had over fifty photographers in their heyday. Never thinking I would be a photographer, rather a pilot, I would still marvel at the pictures of Mel Finkelstein and Danny Farrell. 

Photography entered my life in 1968, a freshman in H.S., newspaper and yearbook fare. I would read and study the work of the greats, one who recently passed, Bert Stern. I started in the Fashion Industry, a summer intern job that grew into shooting Runway. 

In 1972 I started stringing for UPI and worked with Charlie Tronolone in the color lab. Bill Lyon set me to Rochester to work on new technology for color separations. By 1974 I was hired. I met Danny Farrell and was awe struck when we shared a helicopter (you know UPI) to cover a helicopter crash on top the Pan Am building.  He kicked my ass one side to the other in coverage. I vowed never to be so humiliated again. 

I read, I experimented, I shot and shot again.

Lyon set me to WAP to show Hugo and Alan the new color techniques I’ve been learning in Rochester. It’s a day I’ll never forget. One would think, as a New Yorker, NY was the center of the world. I soon realized UPI’s best were in WAP. On that trip I clearly understood why. 

As I was showing Papkin some tonal differences in separation prints your film came in from the White House. I didn’t know you from anyone, just the names: Cancy, Heikes, Cook, and Bennett. 

That day changed my view and made me a better photographer. As President Ford was leaving the White House via Marine One you made a beautiful picture of Susan Ford’s Hair blowing horizontally from the prop wash of the helicopter taking off. I remember Papkin punching the frame, getting it printed and writing the caption. I just looked at the picture and told Papkin I’m in the wrong business, these guys are great. I would have never looked to my right as you did, rather prefix on the chopper. I remember seeing it the following day in the NYT in NY.  

I know we were introduced once, covered an inauguration and processed, edited, printed and transmitted your film on Presidential visits several times, and was very proud to do so.

You made me see better, you helped take the blinders off and close to 40 year later I haven’t forgotten. Facebook brought many wonderful memories back, and has given me the opportunity to say hello again when many of us went our separate ways after UPI’s demise. One frame of a girl’s hair blowing changed the way I see and it was about time I said thank you." 

Joe Polimeni, Photojournalist


I'm blessed and inspired by following in the foot steps of fellow photographers who took the time to show me the ropes at a young age (20), encouraging me to follow my passion and just do the best that I can.  I've never lost sight of local photographers Don Bartletti, Ron Bennett, Jerry Rife, who took the time to help guide me or inspired me in one way or another. Forty years later, they're still my favorite local photographers and one of the reasons I still pick up a camera.... because they still do.   Thom Vollenweider, Contributing Photographer, Sports Illustrated, Time Magazine

Briscoe Center Acquires the Ron Bennett Photographic Archive

Pulitzer Prize Nominee Covered Nixon Resignation, Robert Kennedy Assassination

The Briscoe Center has acquired the archive of Pulitzer Prize–nominated photojournalist Ron Bennett. Bennett was on the scene in June 1968 when Senator Robert F. Kennedy was fatally shot. He documented many other historic events including Richard Nixon’s resignation in August 1974, the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island in March 1979, and the Camp David Peace Accords in September 1978.

 “Ron Bennett’s body of work covers the shared experience of Americans over the past half century,” said Don Carleton, executive director for the Briscoe Center. “Bennett’s archive gives students and researchers the opportunity to peer behind his masterful pictures into the related correspondence, notes, and unpublished negatives that make this such a rich acquisition.”


 Bennett cited his personal love of history, the Briscoe Center’s reputation for research, and the center’s extensive photojournalism holdings as reasons for donating his archives.

 “Photojournalism is covering history in the making,” said Bennett. “I think of myself as a historian. I’m honored to have worked with some of the most dedicated photographers in the business in some of the most historic times.”


 Spanning six decades, the Ron Bennett Photographic Archive includes photographic prints, film negatives, transparencies, and printed materials. The bulk of the material is from Bennett’s work for United Press International (UPI) between 1968 and 1988. A smaller number of photographs covers Bennett’s time with the Oregon Journal and his post-UPI career. The archive contains a significant manuscript component, including presidential daily schedules Bennett collected during the course of his work and correspondence with politicians and other photojournalists.


Ron Bennett was born in Portland, Oregon. He began his career as a photographer at the Oregon Journal and later worked for UPI in Los Angeles, where he covered Hollywood, news, and sports. While working for UPI in Washington, Bennett was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for his photographs of the assassination of Senator Kennedy in 1968. Later in his career he worked for the San Diego Union and the U.S. government. He retired in 2010. 

UPI's most iconic pictures of the 20th century (50 images)

I am honored to be apart of these iconic UPI photographs of the 20th century and know some of these great photographers who are friends and have been blessed to work with.

I would like to thank God for His light, giving me the eye to see pictures through my career in photography of His creation and have the opportunity to shoot them for others to enjoy (Psalm 19).  Nature is one of God’s beautiful creations. Through nature, God is able to teach us, speak to us, and provide for us.  It has been fun sharing what is important to me. 

Story by Chuck Fazio

"Lunch with the Legends" Ron Bennett
What a thrill to have lunch today with THE Ron Bennett, one of the true legends in photojournalism standing literally right next to the true greats like David Hume Kennerly, Wally Mcnamee, Frank Johnston as UPI's top shooter. Ron was nominated for the Pulitzer (twice) for his incredible pictures of of the mortally wounded RFK laying bleeding on the floor of the Ambassador hotel. Ron was the first person to Kennedy after he was shot removing the senator's tie so he could breathe.  Kennedy, still conscious, asked him if his wife was ok. Can you imagine being one of the last people, ever, to have heard words from Robert Kennedy??  He was at Sharon Tate's house the morning after the murders. Creepier still, Charles Manson told him in the basement of the courthouse, "I will get you one day."   The photo go Nixon giving the double peace sign on the steps of Marine One after he resigned? Yup. Goes on and on and on.
Mr. Bennett has been a true witness to and capturer of history.
Chuck Fazio,  

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