In anticipation of the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, view the new display from Special Collections, Presidents Photographed: The Incredible Collection of John Rous, visible in the Andrew C. Roth Grand Reading Room (LIB 402) and the George Connor Special Collections Reading Room (LIB 439).
The John Rous Photographs collection, housed in the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Special Collections, contains dozens of photographs of United States presidents ranging from Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Richard Nixon. The collection is made up of Rous’s most prized images which he displayed in his Lynchburg, Virginia home after he retired before donating them to the university.
John Rous, an Associated Press photographer assigned to the White House, was born in 1912 in Meridian, Mississippi. Rous grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and began working as a professional photographer in 1933 when he was hired by the Washington Herald. During World War II, Rous served in the Office of War Information as the chief of photographers, and after the war he took a job as one of the White House photographers for the Associated Press.
While covering the White House, Rous captured thousands of images. Perhaps most famously, he photographed Jacqueline Kennedy and Robert Kennedy following the casket of President John F. Kennedy from the airplane in Washington, D.C. hours after the president’s assassination in Dallas, Texas.
The selection of photographs on display in the Andrew C. Roth Grand Reading Room and the George Connor Special Collections Reading Room comprise only a fraction of Rous’s incredible images. To view the full collection, please see Special Collections staff in LIB 439.