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Photographer Jacques Lowe Dies in New York City

Jacques Lowe, a photographer best known for his images of the Kennedy family, died on Saturday at his home in New York City at the age of 71. The cause was cancer. For the last 10 or more years of his life Lowe had dedicated himself to documenting the most important musicians in jazz, and his stunning portraits appeared frequently in the pages of JazzTimes. Lowe also developed the @Home section for JazzTimes in which he profiled jazz musicians away from the bandstand. Many of his jazz images are contained in his book, Jazz-Photographs of the Masters (Artisan Press).

But Lowe knew that whatever he did the rest of his life, he would always be remembered most for the Kennedy photos. Lowe’s obituary in the New York Times doesn’t mention his jazz photography at all, at least partially because his intimate photos of John F. Kennedy and his family so captivated the nation in the 1960s. After photographing Robert Kennedy and various social events for Joseph Kennedy in the late 1950s, Lowe was invited to take photos of Joseph’s “other son,” John, who was running for president. Lowe ended up not only photographing JFK’s campaign, but also staying on as a White House photographer, a relatively new concept at the time. JFK gave Lowe unprecedented access and the result was a treasure trove of classic images of Camelot from the inside. After RFK’s assassination in 1968, a disillusioned Lowe retired from photography until 1984, when he returned to New York City to resume his career.

Lowe loved jazz music and at the time of his death he was at work on a book about jazz festivals among many other projects.

Lowe’s family has asked that in lieu of flowers donations be sent to the American Cancer Society in his name.

Originally Published