Boris Yaro, whose ohoto of an assassination endures, dies at 81
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, July 20, 2024

Boris Yaro, whose ohoto of an assassination endures, dies at 81
Boris Yaro, The Shooting of Robert F. Kennedy 1968. Gelatin silver print. 11 1/4 × 9" (28.5 × 22.9 cm) Samuel J. Wagstaff, Jr. Fund. 424.1992 © 2020 Boris Yaro.

by Julia Carmel

NEW YORK (NYT NEWS SERVICE).- Boris Yaro, a photographer for The Los Angeles Times, wasn’t on assignment June 5, 1968. But he decided to stop by the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles when he heard that Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was about to give his victory speech in the hotel’s ballroom after winning the California Democratic presidential primary.

As Kennedy finished speaking, Yaro retreated to a pantry area, expecting Kennedy to exit through it. He hoped he could snap a photograph or two for his wall at home. Then he heard gunfire — “firecrackerlike” explosions, he remembered.

“I stood frozen as the assailant emptied his weapon,” he recalled in an account published with a photojournalism exhibition at the Fahey/Klein Gallery in Los Angeles in 2018. “When he stopped, I heard a voice say, ‘Get him,’ and several men grabbed him and pushed him down on a metal countertop (or freezer top).

“As the gunman struggled, I saw his weapon come out of his hand,” he continued. “He tried to grab it back. I ducked under the arm of one of the men holding the gunman and picked up the revolver. I remember thinking the grip was very warm.”

After the gun was taken from Yaro, he saw a busboy, Juan Romero, kneeling over the mortally wounded senator and cradling his head. Yaro began photographing the scene, reeling off six shots in all.

One in particular stood out: an image of the busboy crouched over Kennedy, the senator’s arms flung wide as he lay sprawled on the floor, gunned down by Sirhan Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian with Jordanian citizenship who had objected to Kennedy’s support for Israel.

The photo ran on the front page of The Los Angeles Times the next day. And it has endured as one of the seminal images of the assassination. (A photo by Bill Eppridge for Life magazine was another.) Reproduced in textbooks and magazines over the years, it also became part of the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Yaro died March 11 at his home in the Northridge neighborhood of Los Angeles, his son Michael said. He was 81.

Yaro’s presence at the Ambassador Hotel wasn’t his only time at the scene of a harrowing moment in his more than 40 years with The Los Angeles Times.

In 1981, he heard reports on one of his police radios that a young man named Joe was threatening to jump from the ninth floor of a building. Shortly after Yaro arrived, Muhammad Ali, who lived nearby, ran into the building, made his way to the ninth floor and appeared at a window, where he began trying to talk the man off the edge of a fire escape.

Yaro began photographing the scene, and again one image stood out. It “captures the fighter, in a dark suit and tie, his smooth face expressionless, leaning out a window, peering almost casually around a pillar to get a look at Joe,” Greg Howard wrote in The New York Times Magazine in 2016.

“Yards away, Joe is balanced on a ledge, one foot in front of the other, gripping a pillar as he leans out over empty space. The effect is nauseating: In trying to get a better look at Ali, Joe’s at risk of falling to his death.”

Ali’s persuasion worked. “Soon,” Howard wrote, “he made his way to the fire escape, put an arm around Joe and guided him inside.”

Boris Anthony Yaroslavski was born April 19, 1938, in Des Moines, Iowa, to Micheal and Helen (Cox) Yaroslavski. His parents owned a local grocery store. Both Boris and his brother, having long been referred to as Boris and Max Yaro by their friends, legally changed their surname to Yaro.

After graduating from high school, Boris Yaro served in the Army from 1956 to 1957. He attended the University of Iowa and later the University of Southern California but never completed a degree.

In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife, Jill (Noskin) Yaro; his daughter, Nicole Good; his brother; and three grandchildren.

His picture of the Kennedy assassination ultimately defined Yaro’s career, and his memories of it endured. In his account of that night for the Fahey/Klein Gallery, he described a distraught woman grabbing his sleeve and yelling at him to stop taking photos.

“Goddamn it, lady,” Yaro said he told her, “this is history.”

© 2020 The New York Times Company

Today's News

March 22, 2020

From victims to superwomen: Honoring female strength in Afghanistan

Kenny Rogers, who brought country music to a pop audience, dies at 81

Boris Yaro, whose ohoto of an assassination endures, dies at 81

Record-breaking Japanese whisky leads Sotheby's 'Finest & Rarest' auctions in London

Cardi Gallery hosts the most comprehensive exhibition of Mimmo Rotella's practice ever seen in the UK

Exhibition presents a series of animated political collages and landscape photographs by Catherine Opie

Phillips takes next steps in announcing sale dates for New York in June

Book gathers all of Albertus Seba's extraordinary illustrations

Florida International University museums engage arts and culture lovers working and learning at home

James Hatch, archivist of black theater, dies at 91

New book offers photographic insights into China's rapid changes within the time frame of the last 20 years

Now on view (online): Site-specific installation exploring the precariousness of living by Shaqayeq Arabi

Freelance musicians fear for future amid uncertainty

Lessons from my grandma on art, sex and life

How coronavirus-weary Americans are seeking joy

Freight+Volume opens Pungent Dystopia: A group exhibition

Object & Thing shifts 2nd edition dates to Nov 13-15

Home with your kids? Writers want to help

Broadway, shuttered by pandemic, reaches short-term pay deal

She had 3 jobs to support her music. Now all are gone.

Before Bach, he was Germany's greatest composer

Kahlil Joseph wins the 6th Eye Art & Film Prize

What happens when we lose the art that brings us together?

Wilding Cran Gallery opens an online exhibition of works by Fran Siegel and Paul Scott

Different Generator Sizes That Will Tailor Fit Your House

Why You Should Take Yoga and Meditation Online With Glo

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful