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L.A. press photographers celebrate 75th anniversary

L.A. press photographers celebrate 75th anniversary

Founded in 1936, the Press Photographers Assn. of Greater Los Angeles is celebrating its 75th year with a special photo exhibit opening Tuesday on board the Queen Mary in Long Beach. The “75th Anniversary Historical Photo Exhibit” features Pulitzer-winning and other important photographs taken by members of of the association, documenting Los Angeles, California and the world.

For the last year, the PPAGLA has been collecting images, interviewing retired members and preparing historical material for this show.

The exhibit, located in the Sun Deck Gallery, has more than 125 images, video-interview presentations and slide shows on high-definition monitors.  The show is free but only open to Queen Mary visitors ($24.95 general admission for those 12 and older). The Queen Mary also is celebrating a 75th anniversary — the ship’s maiden voyage was in 1936.

The exhibit opens Tuesday at 9 a.m. Its last day is May 31.  Several award-winning photographers will be attending the opening.

The photographers association has sponsored annual photo contests since the 1930s and has published a yearbook since the early 1950s. The yearbooks and contests are some of the sources I use for this blog. Every year at its banquet — this year on March 19 on the Queen Mary —  the organization also awards college scholarships.

PPAGLA members include still photographers and videographers who work for newspapers, wire services, television/cable stations or freelance in the Los Angeles area.

Full disclosure: I have been a PPAGLA member since 1978, am a past president and have spent stints editing the Just One More yearbook and Just One More Jr. newsletter.

For more information on the exhibit, check out the PPAGLA website or contact Bob Rhia Jr., president of PPAGLA, at (562) 938-1272, or e-mail; Nicola Rossini, Queen Mary special events production manager, is at (562) 499-1625,

Among photos in the exhibit, clockwise from upper left:
An early-1930s photo by Coy Watson shows a suspect in the killing of a child. Police hold the weapon and the shoes of the victim.

Sandy Blazer, a Long Beach elementary school principal, takes a 22-story leap from a bungee platform above the Queen Mary. Photographer Bob Riha Jr. took the photo on June 17, 1995.

Busboy Juan Romero crouches next to the mortally wounded Robert F. Kennedy on June 5, 1968. The photo is by former Los Angeles Times photographer Boris Yaro.

David Hume Kennerly took this 1971 image of a soldier in Vietnam, part of the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography portfolio.

A Trojan player waits for a pass at the Bruins’ 30-yard line as USC battles UCLA on Nov. 23, 1957. The photo is by Wayne Kelly.

I had to add this photo below from the Los Angeles Times archive.

June 24, 1947: At the annual banquet of the Los Angeles Press Photographers Assn. are, from left, photographer Coy Watson, singer Dennis Day, photographer Don Brinn, actress Virginia Field and comedian Jack Benny, master of ceremonies. The photo is by R.O. Ritchie of the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Press Photographers Assn. is now the Press Photographers Assn. of Greater Los Angeles. The early banquets were major Hollywood events with many A-listers in attendance. The members nicknamed the banquets “Bosses Night,” as many top editors and publishers were invited to hang out with the stars.

This photo was published in the June 26, 1947, Los Angeles Times


  1. April 24, 2011, 9:14 am

    My Dad, R.O. Ritchie, gets the credit for the June 1947 photo. He must have been a happy guy. I was born May , 1947. Although most of my dads photos were destroyed or lost I have a good collection of "Speed Graphic" photos. It was a joke in my family when it came to birthday photos. It was always "just one more" before opening the presents.

  2. April 24, 2011, 12:04 pm

    Thanks for sharing! scott

    By: Scott Harrison
  3. April 27, 2011, 5:56 pm

    I am also Bob Ritchies son and younger brother to Phil. I can still picture in my mind playing with all the boxes of our dads photos while growing up, too bad they were destroyed. I was always excited with the new "Just One More" to find dads pictures. I hope everyone enjoys the exhibit.


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