Witman, Arthur

Construction of the Arch - St. Louis, MO
Construction of the Arch - St. Louis, MO
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch photographer Arthur Witman began Witmanhis distinguished career in the U.S. Army Air Force, from 1923-1927. After a few years as an aerial photographer and teacher, he joined the Post-Dispatch in 1932.

In his 37-year career, he pioneered the use of 35mm cameras in news photography and documented a wide range of St. Louis and Missouri history in the Sunday rotogravure supplement, Pictures magazine. This included Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech in Fulton and the presidential campaigns of Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower. Most notable are his pictures of the construction of the Gateway Arch. Witman had full access to the site and took photos from many heights and angles between 1963 and 1967.

In addition to his compelling photographs, Witman worked to improve the professional status of photographers. He organized the St. Louis Press Photographers Association in 1945 and helped form the National Press Photographers Association the following year. He served two terms as the NPPA president from 1954-1958. Witman received many awards, including the Joseph A. Sprague Memorial Award from NPPA in 1952. The University of Missouri presented him its Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism in 1964. Witman retired from the Post-Dispatch in 1969.