Marion Carpenter, First Female White House Press Photographer

In last winter’s newsletter, I shared the story of Marion Carpenter. In researching women’s firsts (first woman to _____), I was surprised to find out that Marion Carpenter was the first woman White House press photographer. She was a pioneer for women in photography at the time when she won this coveted role to photograph President Harry S. Truman (#33).  She was also the only woman press photographer to travel with President Truman on a daily basis.

In fact, here is her 1949 Christmas card she created for President Truman.
Marion Carpenter even won an award for this photo of Truman playing the piano for Lauren Bacall.
At the time, though, despite Carpenter’s membership in the White House Photographers Association, women were not allowed at the annual dinners with the president. (This policy did not change until 1962.)
Negatives of Marion Carpenter

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