Walt Zeboski Photographer who chronicled Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign


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The Independent Online

Walt Zeboski, who died on 12 November aged 83, was a photographer for the Associated Press who chronicled Ronald Reagan's 1980 presidential campaign and a succession of California governors.

Zeboski was hired by AP in 1966, his career spanning more than three decades. He covered four California governors, including Pat Brown, Ronald Reagan, Jerry Brown and George Deukmejian, as well as countless political power players in the state legislature. In 1980 he covered all aspects of Reagan's life on the presidential campaign trail, as well as quieter moments for the Reagans.

The photographer also snapped iconic images of the era, including the labour leader Cesar Chavez, armed members of the Black Panther Party, Senator George McGovern, who lost to Richard Nixon in 1972 in a historic electoral landslide, and Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, the Charles Manson disciple who tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford during a stop in Sacramento.

Zeboski captured Fromme sitting in a US marshal's vehicle as she returned to jail in 1975. He also captured Queen Elizabeth's 1983 visit to Yosemite National Park. "He had a newsman's instinct," his AP colleague Rich Pedroncelli said.