The publisher of The Evening Chronicle newspaper in Massachusetts, Joseph W. Martin was served in the House of Representatives from 1925-1967 as a Republican. A major opponent of FDR’s policies, Martin was the Chairman of RNC during the war and became the Speaker of the House in 1946.
The call that the Republicans have retaken the congress was received by Martin in his newspaper office–a moment captured above by Allan Grant in what many consider to be one of the finest political studies of all time. The “movie still” clarity and the Norman Rockwell story-telling quality of the Martin photograph were the result of tenacious planning, lighting and arranging. LIFE was impressed and the picture was spread across two pages in the November 18, 1946 issue. Within six weeks Allan Grant was made a permanent member of the prestigious LIFE photographic staff, a mere 18 months after Grant started photographing.