HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. - Jack Kightlinger, a retired White House photographer who worked for five US presidents, was killed along with his wife in a fiery wreck, his son-in-law said Wednesday. He was 77.
Mr. Kightlinger and his wife, Adele, were in a collision Monday in their hometown of Flat Rock in southwest North Carolina when a truck crossed the center line, authorities said. Mr. Kightlinger died at the scene, said his son-in-law, Brad Fellrath. His wife, also 77, died a day later.
Mr. Kightlinger took behind-the-scenes photos of presidents from Lyndon Johnson to Ronald Reagan over a 19-year span ending in 1985. The images included a young Amy Carter sprinting across the White House lawn to a waiting helicopter, Richard Nixon bowling, and dozens of state dinners.
“I’ve been in those situations in the Oval Office where those tough decisions have to be made and that’s when you see what the guy is made of,’’ Mr. Kightlinger said in a 2005 interview with The Times-News of Hendersonville.
Mr. Kightlinger served in the US Army Signal Corps and supervised 200 photographers at a military photography lab in California in 1967 when he received a telegram directing him to go to Washington for a possible assignment, he said.
Funeral arrangements were pending.