Transcript:

Speaker All right. All the first time I met Bob was in the Chicago Bureau of Time Inc. Bob had been sent out to do a story at Calumet City, was sort of it was the Las Vegas in that area, an open city, anything could happen and was an.

Speaker Bernie Hoffman, who is the really the the staff guy in the bureau at that time, the staff photographer was out of town on an assignment. I was just the new kid on the block. I was, I think, may be on contract, but I was not a staffer at this time. No, I was 22 years old, I believe, but I actually looked younger. Well, Wilson Hicks knew he wasn't going to send that little innocent kid down to Sin City, and he was probably right.

Speaker I wouldn't have been able to do that.

Speaker So what he decided to do was send the world famous bon vivant who had been in Paris and Berlin, knew all sides of everything to come out and shoot sort of the Sin City of near Chicago.

Speaker So Bob came out before he got so what was why was in the city.

Speaker So since it was going on, you name it, everything was going on. You could buy anything. I needed to tell you more. Yeah. All right. It was wide open. Ladies were walking the street. You could pick them up and take them. And there may even have been complete houses, professional houses at work. There was gambling and there was booze. There was prohibition days. You you knew where to go. You could get the booze and the liquor. It was a wide open city. So you were too young. I was too young and too innocent. And Wilson Hicks knew that. So Bob was sent out to cover that because he, Wilson Hicks, did have the ability often to pick the right man for the job. Wilson had other personality problems, both Bob. That's why Bob formed Gammer and I had some problems with him. But I got by because I told Wilson Direct and he took it from me, you know, surprising. He took some stuff for me. So that's why Bob came out. Well, I was told by James, who was head of the timing bureau at that time, to help Bob in the darkroom and explain how things worked, because at that time, mostly we processed our material in the regional office. Wasn't like later when things were er expressed in New York, undeveloped to be developed to meet a faster deadline, they need to spread the labour out. So Bob was going to have to develop his own film. So I told Bob about the darkroom. I said, look, normally when you go in and close the door, there's no problem because the door locks on you and nobody's going to open the door and expose your film, because in those days we were inspecting with a little green light. The film wasn't so fast we could inspect and and make sure that developing was right that way. But I said, if by chance the darkroom film Darkroom Door is closed, there's a key here on the door jamb with the nail. If that gets closed, here's the key to get back in. Well, I had to go away and do something and I came back and do you know, Bob had done exactly what I had warned him not to do. He had closed that door. He had forgotten about the key on the door jamb to get in and save his film. He had taken a hammer and knocked off the whole handle on the door. He he must have put a towel in that opening to go in there and save his film. So I came in about that time and Bob sort of didn't really know what to do.

Speaker I said, Bob, look at we can set the print room and enlarging room into a dark room so you can finish processing your film. So I started moving the four gallon tanks in there and Bob happened to grab the hypo tank. And how he did this, I don't know. He dropped that four gallon tank of hypo. The acetic acid in that puts a stench like you can't believe in all that acetic acid was spilled all over the darkroom. It was smelling up the place. Well, I think I got this from my parents, my grandparents. If somebody was in trouble, I just sort of naturally tried to help out. So I got the mop out and got on my hands and knees and mopped up all that acidic acid. And I knew we had an extra tank, fortunately, someplace. So I mixed up another four gallon tank of hypo form and went into the room and the large room and converted it so he could continue processing his film. So I was sitting at the typewriter, probably capping captioning, some making some captions on a story I'd been on. And he comes out and his hands are still wet. Now, I believe that he had only heard about me that I've been a ballet dancer. Well, I hadn't been a ballet dancer. I had done a modern type ballet at the University of Chicago in a all male musical comedy. And the choreographer had felt I had natural talent. So he had had me do a solo number. Well, I think John Morris, who is in the Chicago bureau, had invited Bernie Hoffman to come and see that performance. And I found out years later that Bernie Hoffman had written a letter to Wilson Hicks saying various things about me in photography, but also that I got a standing ovation during a ballet number. And without saying what kind of ballet? No. Well, that's all Bob had heard. So he came out with his hands where I think he was pleased that what he had seen in the darkroom looked good. So he comes up behind me with his hands wet, run behind me.

Speaker Are you oh, you little chickenshit ballet dancer. Oh, you're chicken shit ballet dancer.

Speaker I get up and I say, Bob, you do that again. I'm going to set you on your ass.

Speaker Now, what he didn't know that I'd been a boxer in high school and I've been on the air Chicago wrestling team, he didn't know that and he didn't think this little one hundred and twenty five pound guy could possibly sell him on the ass. And being an adventuresome, daring guy, he was giving me a dare. He did it again. A little chickenshit ballet dancer. I got out of my chair and I pulled a wrestling trick that I knew because I figured he would be vulnerable to this. I was only going to plan to do a takedown and then put a half Nelson on him and put enough pressure so he knew I meant business, but what happened, trying to protect himself ended up to be difficult for him. I first pulled around his head, my arms, knowing that when you pull a person's head down that way, the natural thing is to rear up to see what's happening. And when he did that, because he weighed at least 165 pounds at the time, I then reached down, grabbed him behind his knees, and if he hadn't tried to fight it, I would have just had a normal takedown. But he tried to grab my head and fight. So when I lifted higher than I intended, he fell down flat on his back, knocked the air out. He was just couldn't get up. Well, right at that exact moment, Bernie Clayton, who is a reporter in the office, happened to open the darkroom door. He saw Bob Cappa lying on the floor, sort of moaning and he couldn't get up. Furthermore, Bob looked up and he saw this metal arm from the dryer right near there. And it's true. If he hit that, he said, you little chickenshit, you could have killed me.

Speaker Well, Bernie Clayton thought I'd hit him with he knew I'd been a boxer. He thought I'd slugged him and knocked him down. He didn't know I pulled this trick. So Bernie Clayton sent a telegram to Hicks and said, you better call back that famous war photographer of yours. Little Davis, just beat the shit out of him. Well, that wasn't really it. I hadn't slugged him. It's just that these events had caused him to fall and have the wind knocked out of him.

Speaker What I understand he had a hard time living that down.

Speaker Yes. What I heard later was that the word got around as many of the office gossip things got around in New York. And I believe this might have taken place in John Millimoles studio. And what I heard is that they gave him sort of a roast and somebody even had a wire recorder to try to record this stuff. And they were ribbing him that that little 125 pounder guy, the new kid on the block in Chicago, had beat the shit out of him. And that's all they had ever heard. They didn't know these details that I just tried to explain as to how he happened to hit the deck that way. Now, I don't know whether that wire recorder exists or not, but I do know that that was a difficult thing for Bob to handle, because as I understood it, he had been boxing with Hemingway in the Third Avenue gym. And I think that maybe even Bernie Clayton had said that in his memo, you know, you're your great war correspondent. Boxer with Hemingway was just beat up, had the shit knocked out of him by little Davis, you know? Well, that was that part of the story, I must say.

Speaker Bob took it graciously. And it may be I gained a little respect with him when he saw that he couldn't not tell me under just by being a bigger guy and calling me a little chickenshit, because we went out to dinner after that several times and over dinner, he was a witty, wonderful, you know, glass of wine and a meal and and this other aspect of Bob of being really fine company, he he was one of the most enjoyable people, I think, that I've ever sat down and had a meal with. He did have a sense of humor. He had seen the world. And here I'm just a little punk from the Midwest. So he told me a lot of things that I wouldn't have learned in any other way.

Speaker Why do you think he challenged you? And then why did he call you chickenshit cleaned up?

Speaker Because in those days. A ballet dancer was gay, without exception, a male ballet dancer was gay, and I think he was wanting to try to find out what kind of a person I was. And as I say, he had no idea I'd been a boxer in a restaurant, I sure he wasn't going to put his wet, damp hands behind my ears and call me a little chickenshit ballet dancer. And I think that's why he challenged me. Did you like him after that? Yes, I said after that. I think this gave him him some respect about me because we went out and ate dinner in the local places. The Chicago bureau was in the carbon carbide building at that time. And there are a lot of eateries near there, nice Italian restaurants and so forth and so forth. So we ate after that and he gained respect and that was fine. Now, after that time, I'm trying to keep the chronological events in order.

Speaker Well, let me just ask you before you before we go on, what did Wilson Hicks want out of this Life magazine article? It was it was it supposed to be a fun article warning people against this evil?

Speaker Well, see life.

Speaker Had, I think, pretty good awareness about their readership, they didn't want to talk over people's heads and for the most part they didn't. Occasionally, on their longer text pieces, they satisfied the so-called intelligentsia. But the old maxim in the newspaper game at that time that life was starting out in the heyday was your readership had the intelligence of at most the 12th grade student. So you didn't want to talk over your heads. As a matter of fact, life had a policy. They didn't want an expert in a given area because they might write over the heads of their audience.

Speaker Now, a guy that I knew that had been a B twenty 24 pilot came back to life after the war and asked him what did he think he wanted to do? And he said, well, you've got an aviation department. I'd like to work in the mission department. They told him, no, you're an expert.

Speaker We're going to make you head of the sports department. He didn't know volleyball from a basketball and suddenly he's head of the of the sports department. You know, they didn't want an expert writing in a certain area.

Speaker So I think they were trying, as they always did, to add a little sex and glamour for the audience. That's why they had so many Hollywood starlets on the cover and and, you know, show a little leg and show a little behind and and, you know, make it a little bit racy. People were buying Life magazine at that time. At the outset, they would wait for the newsstand, for the truck to deliver it, to buy it. The subscription people couldn't wait for the mailman. We were the networks on top of everything in the early days. It was the first exciting visual experience that people had. And, you know, within a couple of years, it was a five million dollar circulation. Henry Luce was so surprised by this. He almost.

Speaker Had to go into bankruptcy, to stay alive, to meet all the demand he was smart enough and was with his wealthy friends out of Yale and everything, he garnered enough added money so they didn't have to go to debt in the banks because the banks might have taken him over. So it was a touch and go at that time, but that was it.

Speaker Throw a little sex in Calumet City for the. The guys who are always looking for a little bit more, that's what the story was all about and did Big Bob Kaplan give them what they wanted?

Speaker They didn't dare do everything that Bob did that Bob covered.

Speaker They want to see it dead or even probably chuckle. And they look at some of the stuff themselves, but they couldn't put it in the magazine.

Speaker Now, that article, as I remember, did get some letters for this reason. And one of the bars where he had taken a picture of a little boy, seven or eight, nine years old, was sitting on a bar stool there. And that caused a lot a lot of letters to be written. And how is it that a boy is allowed to be in a bar? You know, and as far as I know, that was the major comment. But no, it really didn't turn out, as I remember, in the actual final layout, to be terribly sexy at all. But they were looking for that. They were always looking for that to go in.

Speaker And some of the editors had some of Peter Stackpole starlit pictures hanging in their offices, but they didn't dare put some of them in the magazine. All right.

Speaker Don't forget, why was Bob the guy for that job?

Speaker Because he had had world experience that none of the local guys I don't know how much time he spent in Paris, but I think quite a bit of Paris. And, of course, Paris was the wide open city for many, many years. Probably still is. He had spent a certain time in Berlin and that had a lot of areas where, you know, real life was being exhibited.

Speaker So he had, I think, more world experience than any certainly any American at that time. Peter Stackpole, to a certain extent, because he had been dealing with starlets from early age and he knew of the Hollywood scene and so forth, but they weren't going to fly.

Speaker Peter Stackpole and from the coast sometimes were aware of travel expenses. So it was better to fly Bob in from New York and to bring Peter Stackpole in from the L.A. bureau.

Speaker Now, tell us how these pictures.

Speaker That was my next chronological experience with Bob.

Speaker I had been sent to the Washington bureau after my experience in Chicago for a while, within a short time, after just being a freelancer for them, I was getting enough stuff in the magazine that they put me on retainer. And then I was making I found out later I was making too much money on retainer. So they wanted to save money and put me on staff and take me to the Washington bureau. Now, I believe why Wilson and the others want me in the Washington bureau, I demonstrated that I could deal with older. Well-known men. And part of this was because I dealt with professors at the University Chicago, I'd taken a picture of Enrico Fermi when I was still a student there and other Arthur Holick other name people. And Wilson was pretty good. He figured for whatever reason, I could deal with pretty famous men, which it turned out I could you know, I photographed Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau, secretary of State Hall. I was White House with Roosevelt and many big name people on the Hill. So I think. That I proved I could do what they brought me to Washington for. Well, I don't know how long I'd been there, really, and I'd gotten married quite young. And so I got a call from Bob and he said, I'm here in Washington. Can you put me up for a few days? And I said, well, let me ask my wife. She was there and sure was fine. I said, Sure, Bob, come on down. Well, there was no hesitation on my part, even with that earlier episode, partly because Cornell, Bob's younger brother, when I had come to New York the first time, had come out of the darkroom and said, you're going out to dinner with me. And he and his wife, Edie and I went up by an elevated train up somewhere to visit what Cornell called Mother Goose. And I once asked Cornell, why do you call your mother Mother Goose? And he said, well, she's got so many children she doesn't know what to do. And it was a wonderful evening. I went up there, had dinner, and Yale Joel, who later became a staff photographer, was there. And I thought this was so generous. I don't think Cornell had any idea who I was. I was in the darkroom in thirty eight West forty eight Street. And, you know, the fancy offices in their life time building were for the upper guys. The photographers that were making the money for the magazine had a little beat up wooden desk and a wooden chair and lockers that were worse than I'd seen in a high school gymnasium. And we were making the money to make the magazine successful. Well, I was sitting there late waiting, hoping to get a call from Peggy Matsuri, Hexa secretary, to get an assignment. And Cornell came out of the darkroom. He was working the darkroom at that time.

Speaker And he he at least wiped his wet hands on a towel before he shook hands. And he just announced didn't ask, did I want to?

Speaker He says, you're going home to dinner with me tonight. And such a generous thing. And when I used to have to come and make trips, Cornell and Edie were so wonderful to me. Well, even that first gesture didn't cause me to hesitate about Bob. Cornell had done me nice things. Sure, I was going to try to help Bob out. Well, I don't think Bob really knew that the Washington bureau behaved quite differently than the other bureaus. Often on most assignments. You had a little delay and warning before you had to pack and leave. But Chicago I mean, the Washington bureau was being run like a newspaper office. You had to be down there every day in case Steve Early, Roosevelt's press secretary, would call and say, come over. I always kept my gear ready in the locker. We were. 15TH Street, I am 15 to nine or something like that, often with a phone call or come in, I'd grab my equipment and run right across Lafayette Park in the Secret Service. People know me and just wave me in and I would get in the White House.

Speaker So at any rate, Bob came there. But what I discovered was he would be up and awake and in the bathroom before my wife and I were still yawning and getting ready to go. And he would lock himself in the in the bathroom door. And I would hammer and I say, Bob, get out of there. I said, I got to get cleaned up and go down to the office. Well, I think he didn't realize that that was a necessity for me to do that. So for two or three mornings, I just waited. He's my guest in my house. I waited until he got out of there. I'm still sort of cuss him out. Well, I think there's a third morning or something like that fourth morning. Maybe he failed to lock the bathroom door. It was open.

Speaker So I opened the door. There he is with a book in his hand and he's reading. And I'm like, man, I own this establishment. This isn't your establishment. I said, Bob, get your ass out of there. I got to clean up and go to the bathroom.

Speaker Well, he wasn't going to get out of the tub, so I went and got my Rolleiflex camera with flashbulbs. This is before the days of stroboscopic light not begin shooting in the bathtub. Well, I kind of embarrassed him a little bit.

Speaker And then it was, I think, sort of Bob's habit when you finally caught him on something, there's a little boy in all of us.

Speaker He sure did like this and tried to laugh out of it. He could often get something humorous and get you laughing and and forget the serious part. So he did that.

Speaker And then I took a couple pictures.

Speaker And this image shows on the cover of the book The Story of a Face. I think that's the title of it, the story of a face. And I believe that that was a stroke of luck.

Speaker A face for a face or a face for a clue, and the author is.

Speaker A Frenchman.

Speaker Now, it was said about Bob and I think his Compi probably was in French. It was said about Bob that he knew six languages but couldn't speak any of them very well. Somebody said that. But at any rate, he did get out and I went to the office.

Speaker And so he was there, I believe, to get credentials to go to England with Quentin Reynolds, who is a famous known author at that time.

Speaker And before we go on, I want to ask you some more stuff. Sure. The bathtub and I'm sure you're so.

Speaker How did he have the nerve to lock himself in the bathroom and keep you out for two hours? Well.

Speaker Bob knew he was already pretty world famous at this time, that image he had shot in Spain of the loyal soldier supposedly at the moment of death.

Speaker I don't think he ever expected that suddenly overnight, he's a world famous photographer. I don't think he knew until he got back to Paris. I think his friend got killed there on Gerda, who had sort of acted as an agent for him.

Speaker I think they were both in Spain someplace. I don't think he knew when until he got back that that image was being shown around and he had money in the bank. I mean, this was a new experience, have notoriety and have money.

Speaker And that combination is hard to come by.

Speaker So I think it gave him a sense of stardom, which is hard to to beat once you're there. I've been in Hollywood, I've seen stars. I photographed some of them so far. I photographed politicians. You begin to believe your public relations agent, what they're putting out there on you. It takes a solid man to remain modest when you got fame.

Speaker I mean, it takes some courage and and a certain self security to do that. I don't think Bob had quite arrived at that level at that time. I think probably he did later. And so he just figured he's a big guy.

Speaker He's got that tough little Davis again can wait. No, I didn't threaten to put him on the desk that time. I think I was tempted to do it, but I didn't do it. So at any rate.

Speaker And another thing that you said, well, I wondered why this particular kind of book, do you think you have any ideas about why it's a detective story and why this kind of book?

Speaker Well, because I think, Bob, even with all of the experiences she had, I believe and I found out this about myself later.

Speaker When you're taking risks and your life is in danger, and I experience this later too, and I'm sure Bob did several times, your adrenaline is pumping so high, you are feeling more alive the closer you are to death than in normal circumstances. And I mean that your adrenaline is so high, no sex experience can come as close as that Drumlin pump when you're close to death.

Speaker Now, some people won't admit that later on, but I think Bob recognized that because I think later on he was known to have said I would like to be an unemployed war photographer.

Speaker He had had it one time because, you know, your luck isn't going to hold out all that close together. I, too, had bullets flying around, bombs and so forth and so forth. Now, at that moment, boy, you are alive because of that adrenaline pump.

Speaker And I think that Bob experienced that probably certainly at Omaha Beach. I don't know how many other occasions, so.

Speaker I think at times you may take advantage once you've experienced that, knowing you don't know when you're going to be alive, particularly in combat situation. So maybe you try to lead your life to experience the most while you are alive. Now, on top of that, this is an amateur psychologist psychologizing.

Speaker MISPRONOUNCES a layman's psychologist, I believe, from what I observed and so forth. That Bob needed that hour or two and a hot tub reading a book.

Speaker To change from the basic Andre Friedman. Probably a pretty. Modest. Mother, son. Who had seen some hardship as a boy growing up in Budapest.

Speaker And transform himself into the world famous Robert Campa.

Speaker Famous photographer, I think he needed that process to alter entirely one aspect of his nature against the other. And I saw some of this change of mood within him. I doubt if it was really that conscious within him.

Speaker I think he he went with the flow and could adapt quick wits, smart brain. He could adapt to the situation. And there's a saying that I've heard about Hungarians that they are clever enough to get in a revolving door behind you and come out ahead of you.

Speaker And Bob was sort of that way. He could maneuver. He could do this, that and the other thing.

Speaker And I don't think he did it with any sense of any real ill will to anybody. He just experienced enough hardship growing up. He wanted to stay on top so he wouldn't go back down. So it was sort of a survival mechanism with him, I think, to perform in this way. So I gained a lot of respect for him.

Speaker And later I went to Hollywood. When I resigned Life magazine, I wanted to get motion pictures because I knew by this time I'd known a famous Australian, a war photographer by the name of Damien Parer. Unfortunately, he got killed in Los Negros. Know another landing place. I'll have to come up with that. He got killed, but I saw his film of what he could do. You know, you can tell a story better in motion and stills. You've got those gaps going in. Furthermore, there, cameras and and Bob Capra had an Irmo camera, 35 minute. You had a longer telephoto than we had in those days. And we had to come up close. And Bob's noted for having saying, if you don't like your pictures, you're not close enough. So in any event, I went out to explore motion pictures in Hollywood and said James had shifted from the Chicago bureau to Hollywood bureau and Bob happened to be in the office that day. Well, both Bob and I were in Sid's office, and I think Bob still could hardly believe that I'd set as earlier.

Speaker So in front of Sid, I think, wanting to change the stories that was going on, he started putting his arm on me again while I was still in pretty good shape.

Speaker And so he again plays the little boy, backs off, you know, oh, I'm just joking with the kid. I'm not really being serious, you know.

Speaker So then he was working for Warner Brothers to try to make a motion picture out of the book. He had written slightly out of focus, and he had a roadster automobile. And he wanted to take me out to the Warner Brothers lot and show me the writer's cottage that he was working on this book. Well, in some ways, I think I was in more danger riding in that roadster automobile with him than I'd been in the war zone.

Speaker And there he was switching lanes and is that know?

Speaker But we got there safely. And and I think you really this, I think, was part of his wanting to be liked and admired.

Speaker I think he really enjoyed when the guy on the gate knew him well enough to wave Bob Kefalonia. Sure, Bob, come on and drive your car in there.

Speaker So he took me in and showed me the writer's cottage in there. And I think we had lunch or dinner.

Speaker And I believe that that may have been the last time I saw Bob was out there in Hollywood. Now, I did see.

Speaker The movie that he was in where he played this little role, where I think he was an Arab servant, servant of some kind, and I think that Bob was laughing at this whole thing so much that I think even the little thing in the movie, he could hardly reframed laughing.

Speaker That was part of Bob's nature, too. And I might have seen some other aspect of that film being made because I was on the set and saw something. And I thought at first that maybe I'd seen that. And then I realized I hadn't seen that.

Speaker What did you do? Did you watch Bob being filmed on the set?

Speaker No. I thought at a moment that I had done that. And and I said to Joanna when she called me at one time and she sort of questioned that and she was right. This scene had so etched itself in my brain because of the experiences with Bob and my sort of laughing to Bob. You can't even be serious being filmed on the set that is so etched in my brain that I thought I'd literally seen it. But I know I haven't didn't see it. And Joanna was quite right and questioned me about that.

Speaker All you have to do in the movie is kind of back out of the room. Yeah.

Speaker And this was one thing I think that was part about nature. And it's fortunate you've got to have some sense of humor or you don't survive in a war situation. You've got to find something to laugh out. And I think that Bob had had to be a survivor in so many parts of his life that he knew that he had to take some things in a light vein. So life wouldn't be so serious for him, because I think a lot of his life was pretty serious. But I think he might have swung at times a little too far in that other direction and saw humor where some of the people that maybe want him to be quite so humorous.

Speaker You know, you've said so many things that I want to go back to with everything you're saying. So which one of them is. You said that you'd seen in other ways that transition or transformation inside himself of going from Andre Friedman to Robert Capa.

Speaker You can you talk a little bit more about what did you see? How are you?

Speaker Well, first, let me explain. What you probably already know is that when he got into Paris and.

Speaker Gerda. Turned out to be sort of his photo agent.

Speaker Between the two of them, as I understand it. They decided if he would change his name and appeared to be a famous American photographer, that she could sell his work for about four times as much as he was getting as Andre Friedman sold needing money to survive. They did that. Now, how they came up with Robert Campa, I don't know, but I have a guesswork of my own, I have a theory of my own. They had heard of the famous Hollywood director, Robert Keppra.

Speaker Frank Capra, Frank Capra.

Speaker And I think that they might have purposely chosen that, knowing that many Europeans might confuse the two names and see a relationship, at any rate, it worked for a while that she could go sell Bob's camp, Bob Capa's work at a much higher price and give them a more survivable way. So I think that as many of us never really completely outgrow our early experiences, it's hard to do that if they're severe. I don't know that much about Bob's early experiences in Budapest, but I think. That it was stressful enough in many ways and he knew he had to be a survivor. I think that was born in him, that he just kept finding ways to survive, survive, survive.

Speaker And, of course, the tragedy as to what happened as a matter of sheer luck. And I. Believe that I believe that I survived as a matter of sheer luck, nothing else.

Speaker And what I did learn, which I think Bob learned, which caused him to be willing to go back in later on. First of all, when you become thinking about a war zone, you're saying, oh, somebody else is going to get killed, somebody else is going to be injured. I'm not going to be tough, but you shouldn't find out. You can be touched. Then what you find out after a little more experience is that it's a matter of odds and luck. And that medal can come so close to you without hitting you that you have a fairly good chance, at least with the military stuff of World War Two period. I was strafed two times. Bullets were cracking all around, not a hunk of metal. I was bombed. A bomb landed within 75 feet. I think it was only one hundred pounder. Maybe partly why I'm hard of hearing now. I was machine gun coming in online. I think Bob knew this and that. You can take chances up to a certain point if Lutts against you, you're still going to get it. But you can survive a lot of those situations once you realize that the odds aren't really that totally against you. And I think Bob took those chances until finally he began to feel as I did. Hey, man, you've been on this long enough.

Speaker The odds are building up against you because they do. And then you kind of want to get out.

Speaker And I got out because I was both drafted and got malaria and that's all I got out of this thing.

Speaker We're lucky. Yes, I was.

Speaker Because there's so many things I want to ask you. Well, let's stick with your war experience is a little bit as compared to Kappa's war experience. You mentioned earlier that you had your own day, your own on Omaha Beach. So maybe we can talk about that and in relation to what you might have experienced there.

Speaker OK. First of all. Contrasting maybe Bob's intentions or motivations.

Speaker I really took the offer of becoming a war photographer, knowing that even though I was married at the time, that I probably was going to be drafted anyway.

Speaker And I talked it over with my wife and we decided that drawing Life magazine page, which wasn't really all that great in a way, it was better than getting whatever it was. Twenty five dollars a month as a buck private or something like that. So I decided, well, we lost our first baby. She wanted to have another baby. So wanting hoping to survive and have a decent life afterwards, I decided, OK, I'll take whatever chances are and become a war photographer. I didn't care really about fame of any kind. I got a paycheck that was livable. It was nice, of course, when my grandmother, who I got a subscription to Life magazine, would write OMYA and we thought, well, that was nice.

Speaker Grandma was a wonderful woman, was getting some pride in the small town in Kansas showing, oh, here's my grandson. Yeah.

Speaker I mean, you're not immune to that kind of stuff, but working in the Midwest and whatnot, I wasn't like some New York photographers that were in the offices on closing day wanting a big byline or one that just wasn't part of my nature. I was just happy with what I had and what I particularly liked. It was sort of like a post-paid postgraduate education. I'm getting experience at a young age. I'm covering the White House at twenty three. I'm an accredited border photographer, 24. I'm meeting all these people. Well, actually, I felt more comfortable having worked on my grandfather's farm in Kansas, drinking well water with wheat farmers and and with the coal miners. And I was having dinner with Nelson Rockefeller, which I later did with five maids serving the table and going through to electronic gates to get into as a state. You know, I'm still a small boy. I grew up in Kansas and Oklahoma. Well, I think Bob did feel that he wanted to be well known. He wanted some fame, and he was willing to take the chances to get to that. All I wanted was to survive on that. And sure, if my pictures got in and that was that was fine, I wasn't going to fight that. But that was my primary motivation. My primary motivation was to because I lived through the Depression. I know what that was. I was to have enough money to support a wife and some children, which I later did, and so forth. So I think our primary motivations were different in that sense. And he was willing, I think, in a way, to take more chances than I was. I covered what was there once I knew what was going on. And I except for my first learning, I was ordered to be on a new landing craft, a bigger landing craft. I tried to take the type of chances that I think Bob took many cases where you you took the chance to get good pictures but still try to survive. And that's a hard judgment call because you don't know it's chaos when it's really going on. Nobody can judge that, really. But I think he was willing to take more chances than I was willing to take if I was on their stuff happened, which it did. That's it. But I wasn't driven, I don't believe, with the same sort of motivations that propelled Bob Kepa.

Speaker I think I read that you said that when you were on the boat landing in the Philippines and you decided. Not at all.

Speaker Not not Philippines. That was my last landing at Los Negros. Any people confuse this because there was a more famous Los Negros in the Philippines, longer made a mistake in his book on that. He places that in the Philippines it was not. It was in the Admiralty Islands. It turned out to be my last landing because it was with a part of the First Calvary, because I then got my first attack on malaria and then I got the draft notice. This was last Negroes in the Admiralty Islands and I was in a barge coming in. We got shot out one of my slide shows getting off of that barge. And I made this decision. I earlier had made two landings that happened to conflict with more famous landings in Italy, El Alamein. No, not can't come up with the names right now. So not one single image of mine got published in Maggoty. Well, I mean, that's too long odds. You may be willing to risk your life a little bit if something of value comes out of it. But when nothing comes out of it, that's loser's game. Well, by this time, I was willing to take some chances, but I knew that if you didn't get back and get your material back to the pen through the Pentagon into the issue, something big could happen in Europe. Nothing would get in. And that's sort of what happened before.

Speaker So I decided I knew this was a touchy landing because it was a so-called reconnaissance in force, but a small number of.

Speaker We're landing where there are quite a few Japanese, and I knew the odds are going to be pretty great if I got off that barge, having had the earlier experience, I say I'm going to try to save my life. I'm going to try to get my material back and have it published and have something get on their. Now, I might have saved my life because the Japanese counterattacked in force that night and killed many guys if I'd stayed on shore. So I made a judgment call, which I sometimes regret it in a way.

Speaker And I even use some of the terms that Bob, but you said you are a little chickenshit, you chickened out of that one. God damn it, where's your courage?

Speaker And so, you know, men being men. The macho stuff does come in, you want to perform like a man, but there's still little boys in us at times, you know, and my wife wanted to have a baby.

Speaker She insisted on our arranging to get on a train so I could keep trying to make sure she'd have a baby before before I shipped out to the Pacific.

Speaker I was pretty goddamn glad to get on that ship every night for six weeks, man, even a young man, that's hard, hard duty every night, solid every night. I was glad that the train was jerky when we got into the yards in Southern California.

Speaker I needed all the help I could perform for six nights in a row. And it still didn't. She didn't get pregnant until I got back from the Pacific that we finally had our first baby.

Speaker So at any rate, I must say this about Life magazine and those of us that did get on staff and did thing, and this is patting myself on the back, breaking my arm.

Speaker I do think we were sort of unusual people to have cut through all of that and survived a lot of that and produced the images that some of us did. And Cornell later did a lot of wonderful images. But in a way, I think Bob was a pioneer.

Speaker And I don't know anybody in my own mind that maybe, as I tried to say earlier.

Speaker Knowledgably, purposefully. Took chances. To get the results.

Speaker That I think he was seeking others, I think were more like me, that maybe just got caught in a situation and somehow succeeded in surviving and still doing possibly reasonably good images. But I do think Bob was a unique individual in many ways, and and part of it was this ability to.

Speaker Use his sense of humor, his natural born wit, to do what he was able to do, and why do you think he did get off that bridge at Omaha Beach rather than going back to the ship? I can't be sure I can't put my brain in somebody else's head, but having been in somewhat similar situations, I will say, first of all, that is possible. That he had been picked because of his prior history to be the one to cover that particular situation, Bob Landry was there and went in later and I don't think any of his stuff was was published. But Bob was so I think he was constantly willing to do that. The other thing, I think, again, may have been sort of pure chance and might have been similar to what I faced in Los Negros, in the Admiralty.

Speaker This was the big event, it was known it was to be the big event. I don't think he had the choice I had of going back with the barge and saving your life.

Speaker I believe he just couldn't dare do that as Robert Cappa, I could do it as little and Davis, but he can do that as Robert Cappa. And the other thing is, I think he was knowledgeable enough about a combat situation that if he could get that distance from the barge into some cover, he was better off than running the risk going back with the barge, which is going to face open fire until that barge got back to a bigger launch further out. So he was smart enough also to know how to play the odds pretty damn well. And you have to have a little experience to have gained that kind of wisdom. And I think Bob had that at that point, so. He was being smart, he may have realized, man, I'm better off, even though I'm facing this time period and I'm facing that distance, if I can get that far and survive that, I'm better off going back.

Speaker Do you think he was willing to die for a picture?

Speaker I don't think so. He enjoyed life too much.

Speaker Now, Gene Smith was quoted later. To a photographer I knew in Chicago, this guy told me second hand report, but this guy, Nojin Smith pretty well. He told me that Gene Smith said he was willing to die to take the photographs of that. He's the only one also driven by fame. Needs for fame, I believed to have done that, and I think I will say this about Gene Smith, although this isn't the main topic, he did what I think most all of us I think Bob thought about this. The real story of covering a war is to stick with one end infantryman close enough that either the objective is obtained or the guy gets killed or wounded.

Speaker Now, Gene Smith did that. That's how he got hit by that mortar shell part. He was close to this guy.

Speaker Fortunately, his camera was up there. But as you may know, he had to have something like 20 operations on his hand before he could trigger camera again. And he got a wound in the throat or something like that. Now I felt.

Speaker And.

Speaker I think Jean was a little loose in the head to have that, I don't think any other photographer wanted that.

Speaker Now, I told this to Cornell yesterday and he didn't know this, but I read that in World War two, something like four hundred and thirty two war correspondents and photographers were killed. Now, honor doesn't sound like a high number, but this article said on a percentage basis there were more correspondent photographers killed and more or two than infantrymen on a percentage basis when you do the obvious calculation between the two. Now, some of those deaths were accidental, but some of them were because they were trying to do their jobs professionally. Now, writers, though, and some of them did this, they would rewrite MacArthur's communiques and make it sound like they're up behind the closest tree in the New Guinea jungle and they weren't there.

Speaker A photographer can't do your picture show where you are and what you're doing, you know, and so.

Speaker I don't know, you had to go in because you used it in the interview that you did a long guard interview, I guess you might use the word combat junkie.

Speaker And that's part of this is part of this this is part of this adrenaline drive, it's like an addiction of booze.

Speaker Of nicotine, of maybe even harder drugs, it does something to your system, you want to repeat it now. I don't think I really wanted to repeat it because I knew I could lose my life, but I think some guys became combat junkies knowing that in some ways this was feeling more alive than sex. As I said.

Speaker I mean, you wanted both and they wanted both, if you could have it and survive, you know, but your body is so driven, you can't believe it.

Speaker And do you think that this was part of his reason for keeping going back to photograph?

Speaker I am no way to make that kind of judgment call. I'm just not in a way to do that. But because Bob had girlfriends and and like girlfriends and apparently a lot of girls liked him. And I think Bob didn't want the whole world. I think he was so alive. You want to experience everything. And I have a little bit of that, but I don't think as much as Bob did. And he wanted to experience it all and damn it, he did, including the terrible ending.

Speaker You are so great, you are so great, I mean, everything you say leads me to other ideas that I want to ask you about.

Speaker Well, let's talk about this. We were talking a little bit before the cameras rolled about the Robert Capa miss. And you had mentioned to the lawn garden something about how that myth sometimes has seduced younger photographers to take a great risk.

Speaker I had realized quite I had said that.

Speaker I don't think I expressed it from myself in quite that way, I was approached by a writer who I think is in the United States part of the time, but I think is basically he's a Brit and works for some British publication who I who told me that he was working on a biography about Bob Kapa.

Speaker And my name had come up and he wanted to talk with me. Well, I sensed on the phone that I thought that he was trying to do a good job and that he was trying to be truthful. And that was one of my motivations in journalism. I was trying to seek a moment of truth and reveal it through the camera.

Speaker And so I had enough confidence. What he he's saying, as I told him a little bit about Bob and he came up with this idea that he thought that maybe. Bob Capa's fame, and he might have used the word mess or something like that, was driving some younger photographers to try to live that road and even run the risk of death to achieve that sort of thing. Well, that's sort of inevitable. How many young people that are interested in acting want to be Clark Gable or Marilyn Monroe or whatever? You know, that's that's climbing up the ladder sort of thing. So that's natural. And Unexpectable.

Speaker In that sense, I don't think Bob really thought about that cared.

Speaker He was too involved living his own life and dealing with the people that he sort of enjoyed, as I think is pretty well known. He got to know Hemingway in Spain. I even believe and I think I saw this someplace somebody else believed that maybe Bob was the prototype for the the gypsy and for whom the bell tolls. Because when I read some of Hemingway's writing, it sounded like Bob Cappa to me like that's Bob Kapit talking.

Speaker Now, whether anybody has ever researched that, I asked Cornell that several years ago. And Colonel, I don't think he'd ever heard of that. He said, well, I don't know. And I don't know whether anybody really knows that. But I think it's possible that Hemingway used Bob as a prototype for further Gypsie in that novel of his and.

Speaker Bob got to know so many big name people that way, he he met personalities in Hollywood during the time that he was out there. I don't know who else, big name people, but I think. I think. Bob could handle the total spectrum, which some people can't handle. I think hits kept me in the Midwest as much as he did, because having been in small towns in Kansas and Oklahoma working on a farm, he knew I could deal with the Midwestern type, the elite types in New York. They would get lost out there. They couldn't get the cooperation from those people that I was able to get. I think Bob had the capability of fitting in and dealing with anybody anywhere because he had been on some assignment in Mexico who maybe picked up enough Spanish in to at least get a glass of beer or something like that, you know, but I think he was that flexible.

Speaker He could deal with all levels of society. I think he really could.

Speaker Yeah, and that's what that's what I'm sounding like.

Speaker You mentioned you touched on the people he knew in Hollywood.

Speaker You know what how he felt about his experiences in the movies and about L.A. and the whole I don't know for sure the impression I got, as I think might have happened with him anywhere. That he didn't take it all terribly serious, he kind of recognized for it later.

Speaker I don't know what the word was even being used when he saw he had a quick sense of feeling what a what the may to you is. I think he might not have experienced I think he felt it was Tinseltown and he was going to shine in Tinseltown.

Speaker He was going to outshine all the other tinsel. And he didn't totally succeed. But he could laugh and joke and deal with those people and not take it terribly seriously.

Speaker Apparently not. While he was Hamas, the Egyptian didn't take it very seriously.

Speaker But I think he enjoyed the whole range of people situations and sometimes had to take it seriously, but for the most part, I think he said this is a wonderful life.

Speaker I'm going to enjoy it and let the bubbles bubble, you know?

Speaker Even though he adopted the name Cappa, I don't think he was propelled to want to become a recognized figure like Bob was, because I think he recognized there's a price for everything. Bob had to pay the price for that notoriety.

Speaker I think the worst thing that can happen to anybody and I wanted I recognize this when I was fairly early and I somewhat purposely did this, the worst thing that can happen to anybody is to be declared a hero. You are going to have to pay such a price. Think of Lindbergh and the baby kidnapping. Think of the war guys which won. The guy in Europe became an alcoholic. And, you know, so many of the people that are declared. Oh, Richard Bong, the famous thirty 38 pilot in the Pacific Top, etc. while they insisted to come back on a war bond drive, he didn't want to do that. And he came and he wanted to stay in New Guinea where he was now. He ultimately died because they put him in an early jet fire that that most out. They had a flame out at that time.

Speaker He died because he was famous. I'm convinced the worst thing can happen anywhere, but is to be declared a hero, and if you declare your hero, you're partly sick. You can't you can't ignore your ego drives to a certain extent. Again, it's some moderation. It's the excesses that get you. And.

Speaker I've tried to prevent that. I enjoy it, I tell I have to go to the VA, I tell them I'm shooting for one hundred and five and they do right for me. I'm going to boost it to one hundred and seventeen. Well, it's partly a joke, but if you don't have a target, you're never going to hit it. So I have at least put one hundred and five as my target, you know, to make it.

Speaker I think it was. Think Robert Kaplan was declared a hero in.

Speaker Oh, I think so. I think so. And I think that this British writer may be partly right that his fame has driven some people. Now, I did after I left Cornell, I went and saw the ICP set up. Now, remarkable. I don't think Cornell ever envisioned that that was going to go where it is. Their details there that I don't know about and I don't want to talk to Cornell about. He's got enough to think about. But that's a tremendous success story that Cornell had the drive to do that. And now some of those students, I'm guessing I have nothing else to do. Maybe some of those young photographers want to become a second Robert Capa. But I'm just hoping, as Bob Capa did, is that there's no need to every war photographer is unemployed. I'm hoping I'll live long enough to see that day. I don't think I will.

Speaker It's great. Let's talk about some of the things that was interesting to me in that long interview, you talked about taking a very grim photograph, a photograph of a guy's brains have been blown out of his head. And you had to decide whether to take that picture or not. And it would be interesting if you could sort of tie that and not only to capture, but to September 11.

Speaker I think one of those images. Yes, one of those images. Life used as a full page, yet you didn't see that yet of the guy in front of the landing barge.

Speaker Well, this was my first landing and they were releasing for the first time pictures of the new landing crash, I've been ordered by MacArthur's headquarters to be on an Elstein, the larger landing vessel.

Speaker Now, later on, we began to sort of thumb our way. I got to know the older guys and and we were ignoring some of MacArthur's. Trying to order it around, we figured we deserved some freedom to do what we wanted, but I was trying to do what Wilson Hicks told me to do. Don't ruffle any waters around MacArthur's headquarters. So I went on that vessel and the smaller vessels ahead.

Speaker One of them was called an LCI landing craft infantry. And it was a type of barge where they lowered ramps on either side of the hull and ran up to the beach so that infantry could come down those ladders and go to the beach.

Speaker And I almost was a distance away, but close enough that I saw three Japanese zeros come right over the treetops and either with great skill or pure luck. Two of them got direct hits on these LCI. One of them was close enough that one of my images showed some smoke going up. And I heard which was kind of startling.

Speaker My first experience, this whole thing was a new experience for me, is that when that bomb hit that metal hull, it sounded like a giant symbol at just rattling like metal sound, you know?

Speaker So when I got off the L.L.C., I went over there and by that time they'd lowered a stretcher on the sand in front of that. I just thought at first maybe it was a wounded, but I went over to take a look. When I got over there, I saw that a piece of shrapnel had gone right through this Australian soldiers head. His brains were lying on the canvas there.

Speaker I have never seen anything like this. It was such a shock. I turned walked about five or six away and gone to my head. I can't photograph this. I can't. I said, no, that's why I'm here. I'm a war photographer. I've got to do something with this. Fortunately, I had the sense to get down low with my Rolleiflex camera shoot from the feet that showed part of the toes blown off damage to his uniform, but not show that head because I knew the Pentagon would never let anything like that be shown. And what was seen in the background was one of the destroyers in between the vessels. But here, again, luck does enter into it right at the moment that I was ready to do this and I purposely back focus a little bit so that the guys feet want me to. Right at that moment, a crewman comes running down the ladder.

Speaker Able to catch it, that's luck. I mean, you can't plan that unless you are a movie director and stage that as some people, I think even the steel feel to my judgment, in some cases, they stage too much later on.

Speaker I tried to capture that moment of truth. Well, this was a moment of truth and that appeared there. And Dave Sherman in his book on World War Two chose to use that image of mine in the book. You know, you always have your own personal taste or some other. But that's what happened to that was my first real shock of what war was like.

Speaker And what if what is the value of showing images like that to the public? Well.

Speaker One motivation at that time for us. We all have to learn are by the hard way often. And I think this is one of Jane Jane Smith's motivations to take the risk she took, you hope maybe you can shock the public enough that they'll put on enough pressure so that the leaders won't get in a worse situation again.

Speaker Now, I think it's kind of hopeless because even in the Vietnam situation, that photograph of the little girl that had been napalmed running down with the agony shown on her face, the shot that a well-known photographer took of a South Vietnam guy putting a pistol and killing a guy right in front of the camera, the shot of the nuns putting fire on themselves.

Speaker That didn't really do anything. The public has such a short memory. They may be shocked momentarily. They don't maintain it and they rarely do anything about it. I in that sense, I would like to live long enough to see something be done to rectify that. I'll even tell you. A dream of mine, which will never happen, a dream of mine would be if some leaders are beginning to talk about a war situation, that citizens can surround them, put them in a gymnasium, give them baseball bats and say, OK, we're locking you up for two weeks if you want to fight.

Speaker Go ahead and fight.

Speaker We'll come in, we won't give you food and water, we'll come in in seven days or so many, any of you are still alive and want to fight. We're looking up again, give you some more chance to fight.

Speaker Never happen.

Speaker A dream of mine, because people like Bob, like Gene Simmons, means you have to live something to really know what it is, no movie is going to do it.

Speaker No John John Wayne movie is going to really tell you what war is like. You've got to experience to know what it's like now. One thing about Hollywood, for the most part, the public doesn't even know what the sound of real bullets are like. They usually are filming where the ammunition is going out, the sound of real bullets cracking around your head. And this may have saved my life because I've done a story down in Fort Benning where I went to a live ammunition program. I'm zipped up in a new jungle hammock had been issued to me on my first landing and we'd been up all night. So the Australian soldier that was in charge of.

Speaker We yank and also photographers and a couple of Brits, he said, well, we've been up all night, there's a firefight up ahead. They don't want you up there. So let's go back and get a little sleep. So I strung my nice new jungle hammock training to trees, stripped down to my shorts, put my helmet underneath the hammock, and I'm in there and I see these mosquitoes trying to get in and I sort of laugh, oh, you can't get in.

Speaker And I said, well, maybe this water isn't so bad after all. Here I'm in and I'm leaning back about going to sleep.

Speaker Suddenly I packed up and I knew what that meant because the sound you hear for incoming thing, it's like a small lightning bolt. It's a vacuum snap the air going back behind the vacuum created by the bullet that gives the crack. It sounds like a big black snake whip bap bap. Well, I knew what that was, so I tried to unzip and get out of there and get my helmet and I couldn't unzip that pass. I just took my arm and wiped out the whole mosquito net. It was never good. After that, I was getting caught in the rain and being bitten by mosquitoes, grabbed my helmet and ran for a tree. Well, it wasn't till after the planes had gone over, I realized I was on the wrong side of the tree. My back was exposed to the bullets. The other thing I sense and with those bullets cracking, you can't help it that your muscles jump from the sound. You can't control that. It's like firecrackers. You're jumping with all of that. And the other sensation I had, I was trying to crowd my whole body inside the helmet to give some protection.

Speaker Well, it's ridiculous, but you have this sense of wanting to survive somehow. So here I'm trying to force my whole body inside this helmet.

Speaker Well, other guys, it all stripped down the shirt. We were barefoot and we gather around this Australian who's to protect us. And all he has is an old World War One Enfield rifle with a few clips of bullets to protect about 12 correspondent.

Speaker And he had shot anybody hurt anybody hurt? Well, at least I was aware enough to know. Well, if anybody seriously hurt, that can't even answer the question. You know, now, none of us picked up any metal. So we're tiptoeing around gathering around this guy. And the Yankees are saying, oh, that's bloody crook. That's one word for something being bad is really bloody crook. And and we Yanks are saying that was fucking close, you know, and the Brits are saying something. I forgot and bloody this, too. And so. Well, we're talking realizing we're pretty lucky to have escaped all this. Suddenly the planes had circled around and came back over for a second shot. Well, this would be a funny Woody Allen skit later on. It wasn't funny at the time, but everybody running barefoot through prickley stuff and heading for this cover, you know, and I at least knew what side of a tree to get on this time. But as I was about ready to drive for this tree, two guys beat me there. So I had to turn into a half baked quick Gale Sayers type to dodge and get to another tree.

Speaker None of us picked up a hunk of metal. No, I could tell you about a bombing episode, but that's about me. That's not about Bob Campa. As the difference between the experiences of strafing in a bombing, maybe when we have lunch, I'll tell you if you're interested, but that's wasting film right now.

Speaker I'm intrigued when you said that the sound of those sounds makes you shake. And do you think that those that that same kind of situation might have been the reason that the Omaha Beach covers? All of these pictures are look shaky?

Speaker I think that's a possibility now.

Speaker Humans very in many ways. That's the only time.

Speaker That I have felt that I jumped with the sound, many people hear any sound and they tend to flinch like this, but in that one I did because I think the bullets were so close that your body responses to that quick sound. And I think Bob undoubtedly experienced this in various situations.

Speaker And I think that it might have been that just the moment that he pressed that, first of all, I think it was a pretty overcast and I don't know how early in the morning he was probably having to use a pretty slow shutter speed to begin with. And if there was like.

Speaker The picture of where the bombs are going off your hand is on that shutter, and if something causes you to jiggle, you press the shutter and it's a slow shutter speed, it's going to appear slightly out of focus. Now, I don't know that it was really slightly out of focus. I think the whole image was shaken a little bit. The other thing is, which is unknown. But you would know about the negatives being overheated in the London darkroom where some of the images might have film emotion. Motion might have even shifted a little bit to to cause it to appear to be out of focus. I don't think Bob was out of focus at that time. I think he knew that even without visually focusing with the rangefinder camera, you could set the footage gauge pretty well. Either it was part of that melting of the emotion in the London lab or an explosion might have gone off right at the moment. He was depressing to shutter.

Speaker You had to get back to the White House a little while ago.

Speaker I'm interested in having you make a connection between what you said something earlier about. It wasn't until recent events that people began to understand something here is here.

Speaker People here begin to understand something about war.

Speaker And I think part of that understanding is coming from the images we're seeing. And I think you could make a connection between what photographers did well and what they did for, first of all.

Speaker World War Two was a legal war in the sense that Congress voted it as a constitutional and that's the only way it's a legal war. The constitutional regulations are followed and Congress did pass a declaration of war after Roosevelt had declared as of yesterday, we are at war with the empire of Japan. Everything else has been a police action or a presidential declaration, not a constitutional war. So all of our work had to be censored and go through the military. But I think there's been a long standing difference. Among the military and among the politicians for the press to not really provide the truth for the general public, they are hiding in World War two, they could legally censor Vietnam was an illegal war. So some stuff got through that way. So there is this. Conflict between the press and the military and the politicians now, I felt from some of my experience and Bob may have felt this also in his area, that sometimes what the military is censoring is not something that truly would be of advantage to the area. It's something that would reveal that the military made maybe made a mistake. They don't want to be shown the public. They don't want the public to know that they've goofed up on something and that maybe some people got killed needlessly because of some mistakes. There's a thing that got to be known as friendly fire where you're killed by your own people. I think the highest ranking general in World War Two was a guy with the 1st Division after Normandy that was facing a German Panzer division, and he called up air support from England to wipe them out. They dropped their bombs short and he was killed by that. So there are always those inadvertent, chaotic situations that caused that. But I think that the press, if it's doing its job, is maybe trying to do it in a.

Speaker Constitutional way that the so-called founding fathers gave us the First Amendment rights of the freedom of the press to inform the public to be an intelligent electorate, to try to get the right people in the right power positions, when the military and the politicians are trying to prevent that type of information to get the public, they are doing a disservice to the general public.

Speaker Most of the day, I guess what I'm getting at is September 11th and images of September 11th and how.

Speaker The fact of what happened that day and the images that have come out of it.

Speaker I've changed the way Americans see war and how that relates to what you were doing.

Speaker First of all, somewhat regretfully, I have to say.

Speaker I think a person has to be a skeptic to be in journalism because many people are want to present only the best side about themselves. You have to try to see through that to even come close to reporting the truth. So you're a skeptic? I think I've gone beyond that. I'm an old cynic.

Speaker I hardly accept anything at face value.

Speaker Now being that way, I'm afraid, two years down the road, the public will have forgotten about September 11th.

Speaker It shocked them in a way, because images came across not only of the planes hitting the tower, but one imagery that I saw showed people jumping out.

Speaker Now, that has to be shocking, that's almost as close to seeing a guy dropping from a live bullet in a combat situation, which I'm sure Bob probably saw several times and.

Speaker I'm a cynic. I just don't believe this event will two years down the road.

Speaker We thought about unless which is a possibility and I understand. I think I understand some of the military aspects behind this.

Speaker Is there may be similar episodes in the future now, if this keeps on for a while, then the public will have to remain alert, as was happened in World War Two or two, went down a long road. And our troops in the area that I had experience about, first of all, had to do a lot of additional training, a lot of additional equipment had to be put in place.

Speaker There had to be some peace between the Army and Navy. That's why they split up the Pacific into the southwest Pacific. So General MacArthur had his own area and Nimitz and Halsy had the South Pacific is their own area. Well, they had to begin to cooperate a little bit to make the landing in the Philippines and the numbers of troops involved became more and so forth. And it kept long enough that that was kept before the public at that time quite continuously. Now, when the public began. To forget about that, I don't know, first of all, there's the general inevitable generation gap. Some of the young people today think of World War Two as I thought about the civil war when I was growing up. Oh, that's something you find in the history books. But, you know, so what did. So I'm very much of a cynic.

Speaker So are you saying that there was no real value in the pictures that you risked and you have risked your life for?

Speaker I'm afraid so. I'm really afraid so. Just as I indicated, the shot of the girl that had been napalmed didn't change anything.

Speaker I think it's a hopeless case. It's our job. We need to keep persisting at this and keep trying to do it, maybe someday. But I think Bob became something of a skeptic, too. That's why he said it's hardly worth it. I hope that I'm an unemployed war photographer. I think he developed some of that skepticism.

Speaker Just to switch subjects now, tell me about this.

Speaker Well, as I said that, I think as Bob realized, he had to maintain a sense of humor to survive. We were doing some of the things there. I was with a group of guys. We were going to make a landing. We were at a place called Good Enough Island, which was a staging area. I think this landing was going to be a side door up the northern coast of New Guinea. And we'd gone to a mountain stream to just bathe and clean on because you're you're sweating, you're hot, you're sweaty, you don't get to change clothes. You're stinking half the time. And we're drinking muddy river water. People don't realize how primitive it is. You don't even have time to dig a trench at times. You can find any tree to take care of your body needs and all that kind of stuff. So we'd gone up there to get cleaned off a little bit and I brought a camera with me. So I'd taken some pictures of the other guys. And I saw this vine down there and I knew that life here was sending some of the photographs to my wife to give her little idea what I was doing. So I'd seen Tarzan movies when I was growing up and I thought, OK, I'll play.

Speaker So I handed the guy my Rolodex and got up there and swung on ground to look like Tarzan.

Speaker And I think they did send a photograph to my wife. So it was meant to be that even in all of that, you got to have a sense of humor to take care of the rest of it. So that's all it was behind that.

Speaker Great. And you also talked apparently to Cornell about Bob's death in Indo-China.

Speaker Not that much, but I'd heard various things about it.

Speaker Now.

Speaker The way that picture, Bob, in the bathtub first showed up in Whalen's book. Was because after Bob died, I wrote a letter of condolence to Cornell and to Eddie, and he didn't I don't think he even knew that I'd taken these pictures at that time.

Speaker And so I sent him a print. For Bob is holding the book, but also.

Speaker Hoping that this other image might be on the positive side for Kernell and Eddie, I showed him the print of Bob playing a little boy in the tub. Well, I thought that was the end of it. But I found out later when I saw it in Whalen's book that he had given. At least the image of Bob holding the book, I don't know whether he'd given the image of Bob playing the little boy and it appeared there and that's how it first came. Probably I'd never intended to give those to anybody unless at some time that they would end up for Cornell, but. It was given to him when it was as sort of part of a condolence letter to Cornell and Eddie.

Speaker And and you do mention in this interview that the colonel had told you that he tried really hard to get Bob not to go to Indochina, that the story I heard and it's definitely secondhand evidence, I can't couldn't go to court and prove anything.

Speaker But having known John Morse for many years. And I think John was running the business end of Magnum at that time. This is what I had heard of the sequence of events. That a photographer named can come up now.

Speaker I know him reasonably well, had been sent first to Japan and took a picture of MacArthur with Hirohito early on and sort of became the official photographer for MacArthur. That I turned down and didn't want to perform had been sent down into the Vietnam area.

Speaker His mother became seriously ill and he was given a reprieve to come home to spend time with the mother. Well, they wanted a replacement. Well, Bob was in Japan, maybe Tokyo at that time.

Speaker And I think that Ray Macmullan had happened to have lunch with John Morris when they were thinking about what kind of replacement are we going to get? And maybe Ray McKinnon, who is photo editor at that time, didn't know until he had lunch with John Moores that Bob was in Japan someplace and was closest physically to any replacement they could send down there.

Speaker Now, at first, I think maybe John didn't really at first thinking didn't come up with any real reservations about this, but just simply told Ray that Bob was there.

Speaker And I think they life had a bureau timing Katabira bureau in Tokyo, probably. And Ray Ray McKinnon already started the wheels in motion to contact Bob. And then I think with second thought, maybe John maybe even called Cornell to feel him out. And between the two of them, they started trying desperately to reach Bob and say, don't it simply do not do it? They were never able to do that.

Speaker Now.

Speaker Again, simply. Going on the basis of my own experiences, I think here is another case where Bob was trying to make these serious judgment calls. How can I get the images? That will maintain.

Speaker What should come out of the world famous Bob Cappa and still stay alive? Those are hard judgment calls and some of them are not possible to make, which was the tragedy of Bob's case. All he was trying to do was to get a better I'm shorter than Bob was.

Speaker A short guy is always trying to get some altitude somehow to get a higher angle, climbing at ladders, getting on blind balloon, getting on top of the silo, doing all kinds stuff, get a higher camera angle.

Speaker All Bob did was try to get a higher camera angle and happened to step down at the wrong place. So I think at that very last time, he was trying to make these serious judgment calls, which. Are unpredictable, but you're still trying to make those calls.

Speaker And why would anyone else have been trying to stop him from going, particularly that they thought he had paid his dues several times over?

Speaker He had paid his dues to anybody, to Magnum, to society, to his family, to everybody, and he had had enough. He should be able to. Have a couple glasses of wine and the best Japanese food available and live the best life. That was left to him and why do it again?

Speaker I think that's what motivated them because they knew. Probably from some of Bob's personal relations and probably from the pictures that they could tell he's paid his dues for, why stretch it too far? It's these stretches that finally catch up with you.

Speaker Some people have said that he went for Magnum.

Speaker The Magnum's for the white romagnoli keep an eye on, I think that was part of it, even Cornell didn't know this.

Speaker I haven't told it to many people. When I came to New York to make the final separation, once I'd made up my mind to resign from life because I had family problems. Bob, it happened to be in the office, and as I'm leaving in the cab, he jumps in there and jumps in the cab with me and announces that he's going to perform Magnum. And he wanted me to be one of the original Magnum photographers. I knew they were going to have financial problems.

Speaker I said, Bob, I got a wife and three kids. I've got to try to find money somehow. I know you're going to have whether you know it or not, I know you're going to have money problems getting this off the ground. I didn't know that Kachi person was able to was going to be able to help keep things moving for a while. So I turned him down. Cornell didn't know that. So I do think the position of Magnum was quite a factor in Bob deciding to go down there because it took quite a while to keep that thing moving. Now, they asked Bill Vanderberg to be the fifth member after I turned it down. And I think that all the time that Bill was with them, they still were having money problems.

Speaker And Bill cut away from the situation and saw other possibilities. But still, what what I see is now is related in some way to Magnum. I have no idea really what Magnum is now, but I think they're quite a different entity. They've expanded into other areas and whatnot. But the fact that those things still exist and I think. Comparatively are quite successful, have to be pointed directly to the the seed growers, the ground breakers of Robert and Cornell Capa, they deserve both. I think a lot of credit for what they fertilize the ground they put in the seed they cultivated. They saw there was rain to keep it moving. They deserve a lot of credit.

Speaker And what is it you say to keep it going, the Magnum or or the kinds of photographs that I think these people?

Speaker And I don't know, although I only know a few, I think some of them may have some of the things that were in both Bob and Cornell, how conscious? I don't know. I think fairly conscious because I think they both natively are bright.

Speaker Thinking people.

Speaker They wanted to make a difference. They had seen the human situation, they had been empathetic enough to suffer with some people that suffer. They were hoping that through this medium, they could cause things to change and make life better for people that had little chance of having a better life. I think that there was some of that within them and that they felt that these organization could help promote that.

Speaker That was fantastic. I just have a few questions, sort of things that I'm just looking at my list. I didn't quite remember to ask you about. One of them is about something that was beautiful, I have to say. But anyway, one of them was about Fobbs marriage to Tony Sarrell. Now, I don't know whether you know much about the story of how they got married and went down to Maryland and all that for, you know, I can tell you what I've been told.

Speaker And I can't be sure. Who told me this, but I'll tell you what I remember and what I was told.

Speaker Bob had to get married because he's going to be tossed out of the country.

Speaker He actually was an alien during the time he was doing much photography, even when he got credentials. A mystery to me is how they even gave him credentials when he came down and and used my best stuff.

Speaker I don't know how he managed that. It may be this Hungarian I'm telling you about that revolving door and comes out ahead.

Speaker But it finally was catching up with him to to be able to not be exported out of the country, had to be married, which was a technique at that time to get some citizenship because I believe a spouse of a citizen became automatically an American citizen.

Speaker Well, again, I think Bob was somewhat like I've been a time waiting, postponing, sort of letting, waiting until reality to catch up with you and not always being being completely ahead. Now, the story I heard was that he found out that this girl wanted money to take ballet lessons.

Speaker And he knew and I'm not going to mention these people's names right now because of other possibilities, which I'll tell you about off of camera maybe.

Speaker That they were willing to drive him down into New Jersey at a place that was well known where you could get a quick marriage.

Speaker Because Bob didn't know how to drive an automobile at that point.

Speaker So they were willing to drive him down and they get down there and they find out that the regulations have changed a little bit and they can't get it immediately. But they found out somebody that told them they went to a certain place or was a minister that was willing to do it. They could get a license by declaring.

Speaker And these two people that had been living together for a while, they say, well, as long Joinet Wilson Hicks has been wanting it anyway, we might as well get married to the guy at the license bureau by.

Speaker Taking all under the table possibly told him that if the girls declared they were pregnant and had to get married, this issue, then the license.

Speaker So that's what happened. And then they finally found a minister that would perform this ceremony.

Speaker And why not?

Speaker So, OK, they're trying to get back up to New York, Bob, sitting in the back seat with his legal wife. Now the story I heard, he's decided to play with her like you had with other young ladies. Young lady slapped him in the face and say, hey, that doesn't permit you to have anything. And with Bob not keeping up with the agreed thing on the fees for the ballet and the time she did show up knocking on his door and say, hey, where's my ballet money and so forth.

Speaker And that's about all that ever came of that. So that's that's what I heard about that story.

Speaker That's great. That's great. Because then enable us to have that story in the film. And I didn't ask you about what Julia told you. What were your impressions of Julia that their mother, when you went to dinner that night and and everything, but what would you like? I mean, she.

Speaker She sounds like she was a pretty tough cookie.

Speaker Well, I wasn't there long enough.

Speaker To.

Speaker Arrive at a summation that I think would be very accurate, partly because she was in the kitchen preparing food while the rest of us were in the living room talking photography and just sat in the other thing.

Speaker So. I felt she had empathy.

Speaker For the whole situation of all photographers that she was big enough to not be totally centered just on her own children in photography, but had learned enough through Bob and Cornell and I think believed that maybe photography had a role to play in society. She was very nice to me. She was very nice to Yale. Joel, who was there, who later became a staff photographer. There was another young photographer there that I don't recall what his name was and whatnot. But I felt she was a warm woman, I believe that we hugged when I came there. I had insisted and we stop someplace. I had insisted in coming with something. So I bought a little bouquet of flowers to bring there. And I think that surprised her a little bit. I think she gave me a nice warm hug and it was a nice evening. And I felt it. I didn't expect it from New York at all. I really didn't. I'm still a Midwesterner. I'm happy. I'm looking forward to get back in Chicago. Some people can't stand Chicago, but I had to come here for business. But this is a foreign country for me, you know? So I was so nice that Cornell would make that offer. And for me to get a little Midwest wants from Mother Goose.

Speaker Yeah. A Midwestern, Hungarian, yeah. Mm hmm.

Speaker Yes, if you had to sum up and three words, what would they be? Robert Capa.

Speaker A man who.

Speaker Realized, I think, at an early age. Part of this may be innate because even the scientists can't separate. Your genetic background from your cultural background, so nobody's going to be able to sort that out accurately. I think he realized he was going to have to become a risk taker in some way. To help Mother Goose and maybe even his younger brother. Live a life that he would like for them to be able to live, because, as I understand it, they were on the west side, which was the lower class side of the river demarcation. He had seen that he had suffered through, that he didn't want to live it himself. He didn't want his mother or his younger brother to live it. And he realized that he could only achieve that objective by being a risk taker. And that's what I think he was for the rest of his life.

Speaker So you're so one of your three descriptions would be risk taker.

Speaker Just three words, three words. Risk taker.

Speaker A man who enjoyed humor because he had a negative sense of what?

Speaker A man who had a sense about the agony.

Speaker Of mankind and believe he might do something to change it.

Speaker Fantastic. Yes, I do enjoy that, if I forgot anything.

Speaker This is a teslik.

Speaker It's just absolutely. I think a lot of sleep in this this kind of.

Speaker Judy, so.

Speaker So John just asked you about whether to carry a weapon, someone you could talk about that, shall I do that before I talk about this image?

Speaker I don't know whether Bob ever carried a weapon or not. I think I saw somewhere maybe in Whalen's book or someplace that he never carried a weapon and it might have been his own choice. But there's another possible factor here, which I didn't learn about later. I'm not sure that this applied in the European theater, but I found out that it applied in the Pacific theater later on on the basis of my own experience. The first landings I made didn't have a weapon, and it was my understanding that as civilians, which all of us accredited war photographers, war correspondents were, there are the Geneva Convention, it was forbidden for us to carry weapons. But for self-protection reasons on later landings, when there was nobody there to protect us, they issued us the officer 45 Colque. So I carried that on a couple landings. Then on the very last, what turned out to be my very last landing, which was on Los Negros in the Admiralty Islands.

Speaker I was issued a Guran carbine and a couple of clips. Well, I used that weapon.

Speaker As we are coming in to land at this little narrow curve that was I think MacArthur used the success of this landing later on in Korea at Inchon, because this little landing has succeeded. He took the same gamble at Inchon in Korea. I saw tracer fire coming out in our direction. Well, the two guys on the 30 caliber air cool in front didn't see this. I'm a little further back. Fortunately, my cameras were all on straps around my neck. So I let loose of those, grabbed my carbine and I fired at this tracer fire that was coming out at us. Well, I had enough sense, knowledge, even though I hadn't used a weapon a lot, that I didn't know the exact range of this carbine. It wasn't as great as the Garand M1. So I elevated a little bit and let a few more charges. I think I fired maybe six altogether and the tracer fire stopped. I would like to know whether I actually hit one of those gunners or whether the crack of the bullets was close enough. It scared them. All I know is the tracer fire stopped.

Speaker Now.

Speaker I had some feeling of guilt about that, particularly if I might have killed and believing it was against the Geneva Convention later on, I read in an article written by General Marshall. That the Japanese had never signed the Geneva Convention, so I wasn't breaking anything, what he had believed that he had gotten from them at some stage somehow. I don't know how a promise that they would treat prisoners of war like the Geneva Convention weren't. Well, of course, they didn't do that now as part of the war correspondent.

Speaker Aspect.

Speaker Which might have applied to Bob, I don't know for certain when we first when I first arrived in the Pacific, I was given a theoretical rank of captain on the basis that if I were captured, I was supposed to be treated as an officer of that rank. Well, turns out the Japanese were not respected that anyway, later on we were jumped to the rank of major.

Speaker Supposedly we would be treated in that way. So it was all academic. I don't think it ever happened. But I used this weapon and it stopped fire and that was