Jack Kennedy - Daily Nonpareil Photographer

If you're a fan of the library's Throwback Thursdays, you're a fan of Jack Kennedy.

John "Jack" W. Kennedy was born to Wellington and Minnie Kennedy in 1914 in Council Bluffs. He attended Abraham Lincoln High School and was a member of the Echoes Newspaper staff.  He graduated in 1932.

Jack became the staff photographer for the Daily Nonpareil in 1934 after working a short time for the Omaha Daily Bee.

On November 4, 1938 he married Violet Sorenson.  They had one son Robert, who was born in May of 1947.

In December of 1942 he enlisted as a photographers mate in the U.S. Navy.  He was stationed for 3 years in Washington D.C.

After his discharge in December 1945 he returned to work as chief photographer at the Daily Nonpareil.  The rest of his career would be spent at the Nonpareil.  

Most of his photographs were taken with a Speed Graphic camera which produced large format 4 x 5 inch negatives.  Later in his career he occasionally used a 35 mm camera.  There are over 6000 4x5 negatives in the Nonpareil archives and this does not inlcude his work before 1950.

Jack won recognition for his photography by winning the Iowa Associated Press photo contest 3 years in a row in 1954, 1955 & 1956.

1955 black and white photograph of a wet dog in the rain.
"This Weather -- Not Fit for a Dog" .... is the picture that won the sweepstakes award for Jack Kennedy in 
the Iowa Associated Press Newsphoto contest.

Sadly Violet passed away in 1960 after a yearlong battle with cancer.  She is buried in Cedar Lawn Cemetery.

In 1968 Jack married Leona Clark.  Leona was a widow with 3 daughters who was working as a telephone operator for the Pottawattamie County Courthouse.

1954 black and white photograph of a car interior after an accident
"Out For A Good Time"... this crash picture won the sweepstakes award for Jack
Kennedy in the Iowa Associated Press Newsphoto contest.

Jack retired from the Nonpareil in 1977.  Outside of work Jack and his family enjoyed vacations fishing in northwestern Minnesota, woodworking and antique collecting.

Jack Kennedy died of heart attack in 1981.  He was 67 years old.  Leona passed away in 2006 at the age of 90.  They are both buried in Cedar Lawn Cemetery.

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Mary Carpenter
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