Bill Eppridge Boris Yaro
Shortly before midnight forty one years ago tonight, on June 5, 1968, in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, a man named Sirhan Sirhan fired eight .22-caliber shots towards Senator Robert F. Kennedy who had just won California’s primary election. One of the rounds hit Kennedy in the head.
In the confusion, scramble, and bedlam that followed, Life Photographer Bill Eppridge and Boris Yaro of the Los Angeles Times made one of the most famous photographs in American political history–that of the dying candidate cradled in the arms of hotel busboy Juan Ramero, who had been shaking the candidate’s hand when he went down. The loss seen on Ramero’s face symbolized a family’s, a nation’s and all the world’s loss. A woman with a camera around her neck sheiked, “Don’t take the pictures! Don’t take the pictures! I am a photographer and I am not taking any pictures!” Yaro replied, “Goddammit, lady, this is history!”
Kennedy asked Romero, “Is everybody safe, OK?” and Romero responded, “Yes, yes, everything is going to be OK”. Kennedy died later that night.