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The Observer

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Jacques Lowe once said that John F. Kennedy appreciated the historical value of photographs while Jackie prized their artistry. With his images of Came-lot’s first family, Lowe, who died of cancer on May 12 at 71, scored on both counts. As JFK’s campaign photographer in 1959 and later his personal photographer, Lowe captured moments tough and tender: Robert Kennedy looking on icily as Jack, over his objection, asked Lyndon Johnson to be his running mate; baby Caroline nibbling on Jackie’s pearls. The Kennedys “had absolute trust in him,” says Jackie’s chief of staff Letitia Baldrige. “He was a very discreet fly on the wall.”

Born in Germany, Lowe came to the U.S. in 1949 and befriended the Kennedys after photographing Bobby for magazines in 1956. Devastated by Bobby’s 1968 death, Lowe moved to Europe, then returned to the U.S. in 1984. The four-times-divorced father of five was “monumentally self-effacing,” historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. wrote. “This, I believe, is why his camera caught so much human truth.”