Award-winning photojournalist George Christian, who helped CBS News document iconic global events from the fall of the Berlin Wall to Nelson Mandela’s prison release and presidential election, died last week. He was 76, and his career spanned more than 40 years.
Christian was on Air Force One with President George W. Bush on 9/11, covered President Bill Clinton’s time in office and witnessed President Richard Nixon’s resignation.
Christian was 27 when Nixon made his historic address to the nation from the Oval Office in 1974.
“There were only two people allowed from the crew in the room, and one of them was the cameraman, and the other was myself to make sure that things worked,” Christian told CBS News correspondent Chip Reid.
When Nixon told everyone else to leave the room, Christian worried that Nixon would also tell him to get out.
“I’m standing there with Afro and bell-bottoms and not looking like I’m doing very much as if I just roamed into the room,” he said.
So he hid behind the camera. And witnessed history.
“I’d been fortunate enough to be in places where I would have paid CBS to be there,” Christian said. “This was one of them, and I would have paid a lot, and I think a lot of people would’ve … I had a front-row seat. I wasn’t sitting though. I was standing, hiding behind the camera.”
Christian earned an Emmy Award and a specialfrom the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association for his work.