Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Walter Cronkite, Julia Child, Pete Seeger, Ted Williams, John F. Kennedy—these are just some of the famous faces you’ll find in the book Newsmakers of Our Time, featuring portraits by photographer David Marlin, who has made his home in Sarasota for the past few years.
Marlin took these evocative images of politicians, entertainers, sports legends and more during a decades-long career spent shooting mostly for CBS News. A native of Boston, Marlin worked for CBS as a contract videographer in the Northeast, using his own Leica or Nikon to capture his well-known subjects, sometimes on the campaign trail, sometimes in action on the athletic field, other times when just relaxing or after taping an interview.
“When I was shooting video for the news, I’d always ask the people I was shooting if they’d mind if I just took a quick still picture, too,” Marlin recalls. “They usually said yes. All television news is so fleeting; at the end of the night it’s gone.” But the mostly black and white photos—some 120 of them made it into the book—have lasted.
Marlin, now in his 80s, served as a photographer in the Army Signal Corps in Korea before coming home to work for local television stations and eventually CBS, where he shot a number of stories for 60 Minutes. His book, which contains some images that are housed in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, is available online at davidmarlinphoto.com.
Marlin says it’s hard to play favorites when looking back at the many people he photographed, but one of his best memories involves shooting baseball legend Ted Williams during his last game and last at bat as a major league player, in September 1960. Williams’ Red Sox were trailing in the bottom of the eighth inning when Williams stepped up to the plate and hit a 440-foot home run, his 521st. Marlin was the only photographer to catch the historic moment, using a 16mm camera that now resides in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Marlin still takes photos regularly and is now at work on his next book.