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The University of Texas at Austin


Photojournalism: Cynthia Johnson

Cynthia Johnson with President George Bush. Cynthia Johnson and George H. W. Bush
photo by U.S. Secret Service Agent

Born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1943, Cynthia Johnson graduated from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, in 1965. She started in news photography in 1980 by covering the Democratic Party primaries in New Hampshire. She covered several more primaries before being assigned by Newsweek to cover George H. W. Bush in the general election. After the 1980 presidential election, she became the official photographer to Vice President George H. W. Bush.

In 1983, she left that position to work on contract for Time magazine until her retirement in 2001. In addition to working for Time, Johnson also contributed to Newsweek, People, the New York Times, Fortune, and Discover. She primarily covered the White House and political figures and events in Washington, D.C., but Johnson also took photographs for feature stories and worked abroad.

Johnson donated her archive to the Briscoe Center in 2005.

Finding aid for the Cynthia Johnson Photograph Collection
Photojournalism (Collection Strength)
News Media History (Collection Strength)