BRIAN LAMB, HOST: Fred J. Maroon, photographer, what--what went into putting together this book, "The Nixon Years"?
Mr. FRED J. MAROON ("The Nixon Years"): It took four years to do the actual photography. I had to get a permission first from the White House to do the behind-the-scenes first term of President Nixon. Then I went on to do all the other segments: the Committee to Re-elect the President, the Watergate hearings, the impeachment hearings and finally his departure from the White House. And then--it was too passionate a time to use the images right away for any major purpose. I had done it as a historic document primarily. And so I had to wait and--which I did, until about three years ago, and at which time I took the negatives out of storage, where I had them, and produced about 1,000 work prints and edited them. And now, 25 years later, the book is published, and there is an exhibition at the same time at the National Museum of American History.
LAMB: Where does this photo come from?
Mr. MAROON: This is in the Oval Office. It was one of the earlier photographs that I did during his presidency. He just sat in the chair, and the only thing you could hear were--was the rustling of the pages as he turned them. I used a very quiet camera, which--which I like to use. It's like an M camera, which doesn't make the sound that a--a large--that a single lens reflex does. I didn't want to get thrown out. I didn't want to be distract--distracting him.
LAMB: How long have you been a photographer?
Mr. MAROON: Well, I was an amateur--I--I bought my first camera and--and developing set when I was 12 years old, and I never intended to be a photographer. I graduated an architect, but I was the editor and photographer for the yearbook at Catholic University here in Washington, and Life magazine offered me a job as a result of that. So since 1950, which is almost 50 years, I have been a professional photographer.
LAMB: I've got the book in my hands. And Richard Hall, our photographer, is over my shoulder, as we continue to look at these photos. Here's one in the Cabinet Room, and you can see President Nixon there in the middle with Mel Laird on one side and William Rogers, the secretary of State, on the other. Remember when you took this?
Mr. MAROON: That was done probably in December of--November or December of 1970. Nixon had the--the reputation in the press for not using his Cabinet the way others did. He was relying a lot on his aides, they said. And it was very important for me, when I knew there a Cabinet meeting, that I photograph a Cabinet meeting so that I could show that he did, in fact, use his Cabinet.
LAMB: When we pull back on this, you can see, as we went in close on the shot, Daniel Patrick Moynihan sitting at the table.
Mr. MAROON: A young Patrick Moynihan. He was in the president's Cabinet, and though a liberal Democrat, it just showed the range that--that Nixon used to get the members of his Cabinet and their different political beliefs.
LAMB: Do you know these people personally?
Mr. MAROON: No. I n--knew one or two of them very casually. But I got to know some of the aides to the president while doing the book.
LAMB: What's your--when you approach photography, what are--what are your couple of things that you always do? What's your--what kind of camera do you use?
Mr. MAROON: I use 35mm primarily, and for photojournalism, that is the--the--the main instrument now. I used, for those that are interested, a Tri-X film for this, and I had the same exposure generally all the way through the book. When I do a photograph, I don't like to just do a--a shallow and--and one-dimensional image. I like to get as much information into the photograph as I can. The background becomes just as important to me as the--the foreground or the subject that--as the main focus of it. So that the viewer can look at the picture and roam over it and see whatever it is they would look to see, besides the--the main focus of the photograph.
LAMB: What was your relationship with Richard Nixon?
Mr. MAROON: I was the photographer--I--that--that got access because of the work that I had done on a prior book on Washington, which was my first book. I went to see Herb Klein, who was his director of communications, and proposed doing the book on the Nixon White House. And that was approved after six months, and it was because of that that I found myself outside the Oval Office a lot of times, but inside the Oval Office also.
LAMB: And this photograph shows Golda Meir and Yitzhak Rabin.
Mr. MAROON: Rabin, yes. And--and it was a--you know, the--the Middle East figures very heavily in American politics, and any time one of the chiefs of state would come, the--the White House and the rest of the establishment gave them special attention. It was interesting in--in that particular instance that the president said to Golda Meir that she and he had the same--one thing in common; they both had Jews as their foreign minister. And she said, `Yes, but mine speaks English.'
LAMB: And then over on the next page, and it's a full lead in the book, is Andrey Gromyko. And what was the timing on this shot?
Mr. MAROON: This was in October--I think October 22nd, 1970. The reason that date stays with me is I read in Haldeman's book, "Ends of Power," that Kissinger first and then the president became very concerned that the Russians were building a sub base in Cuba. And he brought in Gromyko and told him whatever he needed to, and the next thing you knew, the sub base was ended in its construction and it didn't continue. And I looked--and that, he said, happened on October 22nd. I looked on my notes, and the date that I did this picture, and it was October 22nd. Very interesting to me that it had such a historic significance.
LAMB: Did you get a sense that Richard Nixon knew you were around all the time?
Mr. MAROON: Yes and no, because he ignored the fact that I was there. He continued to do what he was doing. And on one occasion Secretary of State Rogers was with him, and he became uneasy th--with the fact that he noticed that I was there and I was photographing. And the president said, `Don't worry about him. He's an artist.' And it's the first time I knew what it is the president thought of me, and the fact obviously he was aware that I would be in a room, but he ignored me.
LAMB: Chuck Colson and Murray Chotiner.
Mr. MAROON: The two men that the press called `the president's hatchet men.' I didn't have any problems with either one of them when I had to photograph them. They were very cooperative, and they went on with their conversations and ignored me. It was only later that--that I saw another side to Colson.
LAMB: When did you see that?
Mr. MAROON: When I was photographing the Committee to Re-elect the President. It was about a week or 10 days after the break-in at Watergate. Course I hadn't known that they were involved, though the press was speculating on it. And while doing this--this coverage, Jeb Magruder was leaving the office, and I said, you know, `Where are you going?' Because I had this kind of access while I was covering them. And he said I was--he was going to EOB and see Chuck Colson. I said, `Do you mind if I come along and photograph?' And he said, `No, come on along.'
And we appeared there at the door, and Colson looked at me with Jeb, and he just went ballistic. He did not appreciate the fact that Jeb had brought me there. And he--now that--mind you, the Watergate had happened 10 days before, and the last thing in the world I'm sure he wanted to see was a photographer with--with Jeb, when they had to talk about matters that maybe referred to it. I mean, I have no way of knowing, but I can just speculate. But Jeb convinced him to let me stay for a little while, and then I would leave, which is how I did it. I mean, I--I got my photographs and left. And it was only later that I realized how significant that must have been, that time frame.
LAMB: Where did you get this picture of Spiro Agnew?
Mr. MAROON: We were--I was on the campaign trail with him in 1970 and--as part of this first coverage of the first term, and this was done in the Holiday Inn--the presidential suite of the Holiday Inn in Wichita, Kansas. He had spoken mainly to--to the large crowds that gathered for his speaking, and he used to make a lot of expressions--or use expressions and say things that the press liked to pick up on and make a lot out of. But I wanted to get him in a quiet moment because the n--the Spiro Agnew that I had known back in Washington, when I had done coverage of him and--and privately, was a quiet man. I wanted to get that.
LAMB: On the opposite page is who's someone very much in the public spotlight right now, Patrick J. Buchanan.
Mr. MAROON: Patrick Buchanan was with Spiro Agnew on that same trip, and he was a speechwriter in the White House. And he obviously was involved in all these things that--that Agnew got the reputation for saying. And I liked Patrick Buchanan. He was always fun to be around and never seemed to mind my being there, and I did photograph him on a number of occasions.
LAMB: And then there's a photo down below of the family.
Mr. MAROON: After the--the campaign was over and the election was happening this particular day, and they were in this suite--I think it was the Washington Hilton. And I asked if I could go up while they were watching the returns, and they allowed me to do that. And so this was Agnew, his wife, Bryce Harlow, Patrick Buchanan, all watching the results. Some they were happy with, some they were not so happy with.
LAMB: What's the toughest thing about being a photographer?
Mr. MAROON: Getting access. Once you have access, then you can operate. Technically, the most difficult thing is lighting. Those are the two things. But if you get access, then many--you can make most anything happen.
LAMB: When did you do this one with Gerry Ford?
Mr. MAROON: This was also done in 1970. The--Congressman Ford had
come for a meeting for some reason, and I was in the office. These are not press opportunities, mind you. These--these--these were photographs done, as we say, from--from--from the closet or as a fly on the wall. And, of course, this picture took on a lot more meaning four years later when the roles were changed radically.
LAMB: Have you ever done a book like this before?
Mr. MAROON: No. I've done 11 other books. I've done a book on the Navy, and I've done them on the Capitol and Supreme Court. But this is the only photojournalistic book that's a pure photojournalistic book that I've done.
LAMB: Here's a double-page photograph; John Ehrlichman in the center, other aides off to the left there. The second man on the left, Peter Flanigan. Where is this?
Mr. MAROON: This is in--I believe it's called the Roosevelt Room in the White House. I got to get access by virtue of getting to know Ehrlichman and Haldeman, photographing them privately in their offices and with their aides. And I was told that I could come to this meeting at 7:00 in the morning and I would be able to get some photographs.
Well, I appeared at the gate. Of course, the guards had to do an awful lot of double checking to find out why a photographer was at the Northgate at 7:00 in the morning. But they finally gave me access, and I went in and there was this meeting in full swing. And the--the clock, I still remember, said--when I did this picture, though it's been cropped out of the photograph--quarter to 8. This was the--the earlier meeting. Their meeting then went on at 8:00. But this was a 7:00 meeting.
LAMB: All men.
Mr. MAROON: All men.
LAMB: Except for this photo you have of somebody that's in--in the public spotlight today.
Mr. MAROON: Diane Sawyer. I--you spent an awful lot of time in the Press Room waiting for somebody to tell me that I could get access to somebody's office or into the Oval Office. And so I would come every morning early, just like a regular job, and I had my cameras in a locker in the basement, and I would bring them up and just, you know, spend a lot of time. And I looked and there was this young lady sitting there outside of Zieglar's office, and she was there every day. And I just thought, all right, I would squeeze off an image or two just for the record, and never realizing that she would become more famous than just about everybody I was photographing in the White House, except maybe the president, in due course.
LAMB: What was her job?
Mr. MAROON: She was a secretary for Ron Zieglar or a receptionist for him. And she had one of those early entry jobs, I guess, in the White House.
LAMB: Another familiar figure is right below her.
Mr. MAROON: Bill Safire. This was at a--he was, again, one of the--he was--the--President Nixon had three speechwriters: Buchanan--Pat Buchanan and Bill Safire and Price.
LAMB: Ray Price.
Mr. MAROON: Ray Price. And Safire I had photographed in his other job. Here is what they call the "Plans Committee," or also--or also the image-makers, if you wil--would. It was in Herb Klein's office every S--every Saturday or whatever Saturday they called it, and they dealt with all the problems that the president had negatively with the press and they tried to--to see how they could steer things positively in the way that the press was re--reporting him. And I'm sure this is the room and that was the meeting that I was approved to do my project.
LAMB: Jeb Magruder on the right. Dwight Chapin next to him. Lyn Nofziger there on the couch. Herb Klein at the back.
Mr. MAROON: This is the "Plans Committee," the image-maker that I had just spoken about. And it's interesting that Ron Zieglar is not in the picture. He would come briefly and then leave. And Herb Klein alluded to this in his book, that--but these were the men that had to deal with negative reporting and then create the positive stories when they could.
LAMB: Jeb Magruder and Dwight Chapin went to jail. What was your reaction when that happened?
Mr. MAROON: I felt kind of sorry for them. I--I liked them both. They--they were--I got to know them personally because we were involved with each other for such a long period of time. And Jeb's wife and my wife were classmates in college. And so I felt very sorry when--when all the things went negatively for them.
LAMB: John Connally.
Mr. MAROON: I liked John Connally. I thought he had a great presidential demeanor about him, and I think President Nixon did, too.
LAMB: Where did you photograph these two together?
Mr. MAROON: This was done--this is one of the few press photographs that I did. It was in the Press Room of the White House when President Nixon introduced Connally to the press corps as his new secretary of the Treasury. And that--that, I believe, was in 1970. And from that point on, Connally did increase in stature, until things turned the other way.
LAMB: All along, you're shooting ASA at 400.
Mr. MAROON: That's right. And it was all hand-held, no tripod. And the--the lighting in the White House was--was my best friend because it was consistent throughout. It was 160s at F4 and all you had to do was find your angle, focus and shoot.
LAMB: Here's the Oval Office again, the president with his back to us. Mike Mansfield on the right, Russell Long on the couch; Hugh Scott, Ron Zieglar in the back behind the couch there; Senator Moynihan, John Ehrlichman; and then over to--well, we'll get there in a moment--over on the left is Elliot Richardson and the father of the senator from Utah, Bob Bennett. That's Wallace Bennett.
Mr. MAROON: Right.
LAMB: You remember this day?
Mr. MAROON: I do. The president, as you know, was in the House and the Senate both, and one of the things he did as president was to maintain these relations with the members--with--with the Senate and the House members on the Hill. He would go up there, and I'd photograph them there having lunch or breakfast with them. And he would invite them down and have these sessions in the Oval Office, and then that was why I was able to--to be allowed in and photograph during this meeting.
LAMB: When did you have the best time? When did you enjoy it the most? When did you feel like you were doing something that was unusual?
Mr. MAROON: It was--it was always on my mind how important what I was doing was. I don't know if you would say best time. It was very rewarding to me once I finally started having access into the Oval Office, having waited about six months before it came to that point. But I knew when I started that what I was going to be doing was going to be historic because the president and the White House did not allow photographers in, like Johnson and Kennedy had. And the--the magazines that I worked for in New York also were not interested in stories on the Nixon administration, for whatever reasons. I don't know.
And so I knew that there would be a lack of photographic reportage of this administration, and that was the main reason why I approached them in the first place. I had wanted to do a book, in my mind's eye for--if--if it ever came up, on the executive branch of government and how it worked. And so it seemed like with this administration, which would have precious little photography done of it, that would be an ideal administration to do a book on the executive branch of government.
LAMB: Robert Pierpoint, Helen Thomas and Henry Kissinger--where was this picture taken?
Mr. MAROON: This was on Air Force One. You were selected, if you were a member of the press, to go on Air Force One if you were in good stead and you had the--your turn came up. If you did anything negatively during the Nixon administration, you did not get on another Air Force One trip right away, if ever. But while you're on there, the president would have his key aides on board with him because they would be going from place to place. And so they would come back, and the press would have opportunities to have these behind-the-scenes insights into matters that they would not know about otherwise.
LAMB: On the next page--and I'm going to move it over so that we can see it--is a photograph you took from an airplane. What kind of an airplane? Mr. MAROON: This was on the president's--the presidential helicopter. I had photographed President Nixon at San Clemente, and he had asked me at the time if there was anything else--how the book project was going and what else he might do to help me. And I told him, yes, I'd like to have more private access to him and opportunities with him and in the Oval Office. And that next morning, when he was leaving, I was told that--to report to the airfield, and I would--I was allowed onto the presidential helicopter. It was a very interesting ride.
LAMB: Here's a Naval aide on the same helicopter as him, and Rosemary
Woods sitting next to him, and then Tricia Nixon. It gets kind of crowded in there?
Mr. MAROON: Yes, I would say so, but there certainly was ample room. It was interesting to me how the president was solitary through the entire thing. He didn't speak to anyone. Except when Commander Larson brought some papers to him, he might--he said something. But other than that, he was lost in his own thoughts. He--he continually worked. He was facing Mrs. Nixon. She was sitting in the chair to his right from this image. And I was just amazed at how he was really the--the--the--the loneliest man in the White House, or in this case, in the history 'cause he kept to his own thoughts. And--and he--he did a lot of pondering and a lot of note-taking as he developed whatever it is--was important to him at the time.
LAMB: This is a photo that you have on the cover. Was that taken the same time?
Mr. MAROON: This was. And--and that was a very valuable helicopter ride for me 'cause I not only got the overall interior of the plane, but I got this photograph that, to me, says more about the--the--a--a person, the way they think, how you can get insights into them by the expression on their face. A person's face is just--you know, it changes radically, depending on what they're thinking or who they're talking to. And whatever he had on his mind, it reflected this intense, pensive expression that--that is strong enough that it was on the cover.
LAMB: Do you have--I know these are terrible questions, but do you have a favorite photo in here?
Mr. MAROON: No, I don't believe so. It's kind of like, `Do you have a favorite child?' They're--they're--they all are very important and that collectively is where the important statement is made.
LAMB: What's the circumstances here?
Mr. MAROON: I was--I--I went out with the president in January of '71 when he went with his staff 'cause the White House went with him.
LAMB: To San Clemente?
Mr. MAROON: To San Clemente. And I we--I was in--doing another coverage at the time for McCall's magazine on Mrs. Nixon. And so while I was there in the house, I--I--you know, they were going to go on the beach, and I asked if I could go along and do some photography. And they said yes. And it was drizzling, and so Mrs. Nixon had on a raincoat and a--and a scarf, and--and they had this umbrella. And it was very warm--very warm view of the president and the first lady's relationship that most people, obviously, were not aware happened.
LAMB: Where was this taken?
Mr. MAROON: This was also at San Clemente. When I had finished the beach shot and I had done some pictures inside the house, and then he asked me if I would do a photograph of him and the first lady on this bench that overlooked the Pacific Ocean, because he said it was their favorite bench and they spent a lot of time there together, so it had a lot of meaning to them. And now, to me, it also has a lot of meaning.
LAMB: What did you think of both of them?
Mr. MAROON: I liked them both. I--I did not see the--the negative president that--that others continually reported on when I was covering him. He was always polite when I was around. He never, ever got angry with me and--as I had with Johnson. I mean, whenever I photographed President Johnson under the--similar circumstances, I don't know why, whether it was me or whether it--it was his way of saying, `Thank you. You can leave now,' but he would always get rather angry about why I was there, and he needed his office back or something to that effect.
Nixon never did that to me. Mrs. Nixon was--was equ--ev--even more generous to me when I had to photograph her privately. And this was a--a very memorable time for me. This is upstairs. This image was done upstairs in the private quarters of the family, and she was being interviewed by a reporter at the time. And at one point, the--the reporter had said something or asked her a question that made her laugh. And at another time she got very sad and tears came to her eyes, when she was asked what the saddest time was of her life being the first lady. And she had said how--when Nixon had lost the election in '60, and all those people that had worked so hard on the president's behalf having been so disappointed. And so I--you know, that stayed with me, and--and--and it has come back to me many times since then because of what happened even later that was even more traumatic.
LAMB: This picture?
Mr. MAROON: This was a state dinner. As all presidents, Nixon had to--to be host to chiefs of state from other countries. And they were, to me, a very shy couple. And he would look--as you saw on the beach photograph and even here, somehow there was a certain awkwardness about the way he--he carried himself that always came through, and people identified it as a--a negative characteristic. But I think he was just basically shy, as was she. He had, at the first state dinner, spilled some soup on his vest of his white tie--tuxedo. And from that point on, Haldeman said in his book, "Ends of Power," there were never--soup was never served again in the State Dining
LAMB: Robert Haldeman?
Mr. MAROON: Now you asked me earlier about what my feelings were about being there and how I felt about covering the White House. Obviously not only I, in--in my outside role, but also Haldeman and his inside role knew this was a historic place to be. And covering it was--was visually, for me and for Haldeman--was a--a--a way we expressed ourselves. He liked the small movie camera. I don't what's happened to all the film he shot because he was shooting all the time. And I was on the president's balcony looking down at the arrival of the chief of state from England, and I saw him there and I photographed him at--at work.
LAMB: On the next page...
Mr. MAROON: I was--the--the key thing, as I said earlier, is--is getting access. I was in Kissinger's office waiting to be able to photograph him with whatever he was going to be doing in his office and allowing me in. And he came out--and this was the young lady that worked in the outside office, and he just--affectionately just stroked her head, and--and I captured the picture. And I've always thought that this was another side of--of Kissinger that--that I got that was a little different.
LAMB: This the first time this has ever been published?
Mr. MAROON: No. It's been published before. That's one of the few that was.
LAMB: How many photos are there in the book?
Mr. MAROON: There's a hundred--I think there's 134 or 45, something like that. I--I would say maybe no more than 15 have been published before. The majority of the pictures in here have never ever been either exhibited or--or printed.
LAMB: The tone of the book changes about right here.
Mr. MAROON: Yes. This is the door into Watergate that was taped open twice, and that the guard then called the police, and the burglars were alest--arrested, and I went back to Watergate after--the--the Watergate building--after I realized how--that there was this door. I went and found out where the door was, and I was photographing it when this custodian went through, which seemed very significant to me in light of the fact that that's how it all happened, and so this was the picture that--that was critical for me for the next section of photographs that I did that are in the book.
LAMB: '73, but--and '74--so the time changed on this. Were you still allowed to go inside at that--those years?
Mr. MAROON: Inside where?
LAMB: Inside the White House?
Mr. MAROON: Oh, yes. I had press credentials that I still have, and that I--I can go into any event that the regular press can go into.
LAMB: But--but did you have special access after the--how--how long did you have special access to the president?
Mr. MAROON: Oh, for two years. For--actually, for nine months that spanned the--1970 and 1971. But I had finished this first project, which was inside the White House. Allan Drury wrote the text for a book called "Courage and Hesitation" that was published. The--a year later, when the Committee to Re-elect the President was formed, became the next important section that I photographed.
LAMB: And here's a picture of Rob Odle and one of the workers on the Committee to Re-elect the President, Rob Odle there on the left. When was this taken?
Mr. MAROON: This was taken in 1972. It was--Rob Odle was in charge of personnel, and he knew everybody's name and--and--that worked there, and knew their jobs, and--as he still does--I have seen him recently, too. And he was a nice, pleasant fellow that got caught up in all of this, like--you know, like everybody else did inadvertently, never was part of anything, but somehow all of this affected their lives rather significantly.
LAMB: But he didn't--he wasn't convicted of anything.
Mr. MAROON: No, no. But he did appear before the Watergate committee.
LAMB: Now here's some pictures of--of famous children: Jack Ford on the left, and Harry Haldeman on the right. Where did you take this?
Mr. MAROON: This was a back room at the Committee to Re-elect the President, where all these interns that worked with the--worked for the Committee to Re-elect the President had their--their location where they worked. And it was interesting how these children of these famous politicians--or people in political office--were already starting into the political world.
LAMB: And you have Jan Erlichman there on the left, Harry Haldeman in the back--you can't see him right now. You'll see him just--right over there.
Mr. MAROON: Yeah.
LAMB: And then you have Peter Erlichman, who's looking, I believe, over Jan Erlichman's shoulder there, behind him. Anybody else you recognize?
Mr. MAROON: No. I--the--the--there was one of them had a birthday, and--and so they all ha--they had this cake, and they were--they were there to wish that person a happy birthday and celebrate. And it's interesting to me now, in light of what had already happened--Watergate had already happened--this picture was done now maybe about three or four weeks later, and how these young people had no idea, as I didn't, of what probably was happening on--in other rooms not too far away from them, as they--the concern with Watergate break-in obviously got deeper and deeper.
LAMB: You have a picture here of a shredder. Is there a reason?
Mr. MAROON: Yes. There was some report in the paper, when I was covering, that there was a lot of shredding going in, and--and there was a shredding machine, and so I went around and opened doors, and then there was the shredder, and there were the people using it, and I--and just nodded, and--and--and indicated that I was going to do some photographs, and they just went on with what they were doing, and I just clicked off a few exposures, and--and that was--that became very significant as--as matters have since developed.
LAMB: Now looking at this picture, the--the longer I looked at it, the more people I discovered. This was January of 1973, and on the screen, of course, is the president and the vice president, but if you look back in the audience--have you ever looked at this ve--real--very closely? I assume you have. You have...
Mr. MAROON: It's very interesting, isn't it? Yes.
LAMB: Well, you go back, and you're going to see--there's J. Willard Marriott, right there in the middle, who's the Marriott hotel chain, and as you keep going back, you see Herb Klein there. Pretty soon there's Ronald Reagan, and right up above Ronald Reagan is Jimmy Carter.
Mr. MAROON: And if you will look--if you will now move the camera further over to the left on that picture, all the way over, get as far as you can, get to the other side, and get right to the edge of the picture in the bottom row, and right--oops--let me see--can--yeah, there, there--there is a half a face above...
Mr. MAROON: ...oh, what was his name--secretary of Defense...
LAMB: Cap Weinberger.
Mr. MAROON: Yes. Right above him, and that's Bush, president--well, at the time, he was the head of the CIA, but unfortunately it was cropped off, and I didn't catch it until too late. In the exhibition you see his full face. And it looks quite strange to see the future President Bush and the future President Reagan while President Nixon was delivering his inaugural address.
LAMB: And the man in the glasses there is John Scali...
Mr. MAROON: Yeah.
LAMB: ...here at ABC and then became...
Mr. MAROON: Yeah.
LAMB: ...UN ambassador. Where did you take this picture from?
Mr. MAROON: There was a press stand set up in front of the inaugural stand. That's the way they did things. They don't--this is on the East side of the White House--they don't have the inaugurations there anymore. And so this was done from there, and I used telephoto and wide-angle lenses in order to get close up, or to get wide images.
LAMB: You said `east side of the White House.' You meant east side of the Capitol.
Mr. MAROON: I--I'm sorry--of the Capitol--I'm sorry. Yes.
LAMB: How did--how did the mood change when Watergate started--hearings started?
Mr. MAROON: I think the--the White House became more under siege all the time, and--and every day something was revealed that--that was unknown as the witnesses came one by one, and I think this was the most important show in--in America, if not in the world, at the time.
LAMB: On the screen on the far right is James Hamilton, who was a counsel then to the Democrats, but then in--popped up during the Whitewater hearings as a counsel, I believe, to the Clinton side; Sam Dash, there--who worked for Sam Ervin--who also worked for Ken Starr. And then Sam Ervin, the senator from North Carolina--look at the hands.
Mr. MAROON: They we--they were gnarled and arthritic, and it's just a beautiful--you know, expression of age in that hand, but I--you--he must have suffered greatly from it, because it's not the kind of hand that--that was kind to you.
LAMB: And off to the left, Senator Howard Baker. Did you have any relationship with any of these people?
Mr. MAROON: I did know Howard Baker--we--we were next to each other at a--at a dinner for the White House awards one year. He was a photographer, he used Leicas, the same as I did, and he'd even published a book of his pictures, so we had that one thing in common.
LAMB: And here's a photograph of James McCord, but with him is Terry Lenzer,
Mr. MAROON: Also figured...
LAMB: ...popped up working for, I believe, the Democrats or somebody during the--doing sec...
Mr. MAROON: He was doing research for the--for the White House on--on--investigative information that might have been negative, things that they could use to sort of counteract all that was happening to Clinton.
LAMB: But in those days, who did he work for?
Mr. MAROON: He was working for the committee, the--the Watergate committee, and he was one of the--on the proseca--cution--prosecutor's team there.
LAMB: This is a--a familiar figure.
Mr. MAROON: Oh, yes--we're seeing Jack Germond from the Baltimore Sun, and I see him on Saturday nights very often, and--but this is a young Jack, and he was there every day. I can spot him in--in many of my photographs of the different people that I photographed as time went on.
LAMB: But on the next page are people that I assume are near and dear to your heart. Who are these folks?
Mr. MAROON: This is the--the press corps. Most of these people covering the Watergate hearings as permanent members of the press corps were also members of the White House press corps.
LAMB: These are all photographers.
Mr. MAROON: They're all photographers, and--and half of them now have gone to that great big photo assignment in the sky, but 25 years ago, this was a tough bunch of guys. They--they knew their business, and if you were an out-of-town photographer, you--you knew it right away, because they stuck together and they cooperated with each other.
LAMB: Who's on the screen right there?
Mr. MAROON: That's Frank Canseleri on the left, who worked for AP at the time, and I can't remember the name of the fellow on the right, but I--I--they were around--they were both regulars. But y--they knew--you knew when a good moment was happening with the witnesses, because all these cameras started clicking at the same time, and made a large--er--noise, but they were especially intrigued with Maureen Dean, who was a very beautiful lady. That's Wally McNamee in the back; he worked for The Washington Post at the time.
LAMB: In the center right there...
Mr. MAROON: Yes.
LAMB: ...with the moustache?
Mr. MAROON: And--yes. And then he went on to be with Newsweek magazine and distinguished himself. He's won many, many awards in the White House annual competition.
LAMB: How do photographers distinguish themselves, you know, a--against their competition?
Mr. MAROON: Well, you have to shop your angle. You know, every photographer has his own way of seeing, and you have to get into a position so that you can have the opportunity to do that. When you're doing a mass--a photo op, as it were--with the press, it's--it's tough. If you're young, you never get to the front. The old-timers know how to maneuver way--their way to the front. It is very competitive, and they all, you know, have similar pictures. I like to get away as a--a feature type photographer, or as a photojournalist I like to photograph for the long term, and so that's why I even photograph photographers, as well as just the subjects they photograph.
LAMB: Who's this?
Mr. MAROON: This is Maureen Dean, the wife of John Dean, who was--who figured heavily in the Watergate hearings this--and that--the discovery that the president had been engaged in a cover-up. She was a recent bride of his, and was there every day, and there was an awful lot of Kodak film used photographing her, because she came camera-ready, and she was always dressed very well and impeccably, and she made a good subject.
LAMB: Back a couple pages before that--well, first of all, there's Joseph Montoya on the right, senator from New Mexico, who was on the committee, and Senator Dan Inouye of Hawaii--but over here is another, besides Ed Gurney, the senator from Florida, on the left--who's the fellow on the right?
Mr. MAROON: That's now Senator Fred Thompson from Tennessee. He was
young, he was in his early 30s, and he was deputy--or assistant to Howard Baker, the minority counsel at the time. He went on to--to distinguish himself in Hollywood, and then made that propel himself into being senator, now, from Tennessee.
LAMB: Any of the characters that you're photographing during the Watergate thing become memorable to you, besides Maureen Dean that you mentioned...
Mr. MAROON: Well...
LAMB: ...from a photographic standpoint?
Mr. MAROON: Diane Sawyer, of course, as--as we went through, but in the Watergate hearings they--they--a lot of the people were people we all know, that are regulars of members of the press corps, and there would be Mary McGrory and a lot of the people that--that are still around f--writing columns, and--and doing their projects.
This is John Lennon and his wife, was it--Yoko Ono, who came to the hearings as spectators, and they were just like everybody else as--as part of the--the large group that was in the back of the room, and I--I saw them back there and--and I went and got a photograph.
LAMB: And who's this?
Mr. MAROON: These are spectators. Now you--if you look at the faces, you saw America, you saw the faces from all across the country coming. They saw it on television, and I guess a lot of them wanted to--to be there themselves and to see this thing that was a part of the American process. And they--everybody knew the historic significance of what was happening at Watergate hearings. You don't have a president being--in his administration--being investigated, and then on television every day, in--in--many times in one's lifetime.
LAMB: Some more familiar faces. You have this photo here of?
Mr. MAROON: This is...
LAMB: Lesley Stahl.
Mr. MAROON: Lesley Stahl from CBS. I see her often on "60 Minutes" now. This was a--a press briefing by Sam Dash, and there is Bernstein next to Sam Dash, and all these people are members of the press, and Sam Dash is what is called in the press a source.
LAMB: You got Miles Benson here...
Mr. MAROON: He's that one, yeah.
LAMB: ...and Bob Jackson...
Mr. MAROON: Right. They're from the Los Angeles Times.
LAMB: ... probably from the LA Times...
Mr. MAROON: Yes.
LAMB: ...and Josh Darsen over at the far right.
Mr. MAROON: Uh-huh, that's from
LAMB: Then on the next page over, a man who is no longer with us, Doug Kiker...
Mr. MAROON: Yes.
LAMB: ...there on the left, and do you know the gentleman on the right?
Mr. MAROON: No. I've tried to find out who he was. I sent the picture to a lot of people, and I'm--I'm sure I'll now find out, after it gets this exposure, but I didn't know at the time.
LAMB: And who's this man?
Mr. MAROON: This is...
LAMB: Norman Mailer.
Mr. MAROON: ...Norman Mailer. I'm sorry.
LAMB: It's easier for me; I--I can read it.
Mr. MAROON: But you can see the headline that he's reading. Well, he came do--and he's doing his research here, but he was--you know, this was the show to see. This was--you--you had to come, if you could, and be part of the--of the Watergate hearings, and know that you witnessed history. And I'm sure that Norman Mailer, as busy as he is, as important as he is, knew the significance of these hearings for historical reasons.
LAMB: A couple quick technical questions. You say you use a Leica? Always a Leica?
Mr. MAROON: Yes.
LAMB: Any particular kind? I mean...
Mr. MAROON: I use two--two different bodies. I always have. One is the M body, which is a range-finder camera. It does not have a mirror that makes a lot of noise. It's very quiet, and I used it a lot in the Oval Office or in any office that I photograph, because if it's--if--how quiet it is. I also use the--what is called the R series, which is a ra--which is a single lens reflex. It has a mirror that clicks out of the way, makes a sound, but I like to use them both, because the one I can use with telephoto lenses very well. The wide-angle lenses are difficult to photograph with the R, and with the M, you can focus very easily, and I like the M camera--I like the M and I like the 21 millimeter, which is a wide-angle, because it gets, for me, a wide environmental shot that gives a lot of information, and I like to shoot that way.
LAMB: You move over to the House side, and you have this big photograph right here of the House, with the president right in for his State of the Union message on January the 30th, 1974. A lot of--lot of faces in the background; it's hard for me to drop what I'm doing, but you have...
Mr. MAROON: Yeah.
LAMB: ...Stuart Symington at the very back, with the white hair, Hiram Fong from Hawaii, John Stennis from Mississippi.
Mr. MAROON: It's amazing how many Democrats are in the photograph, and all of them smiling at the president, and now this is between--now mind you, this is between the Watergate hearings and the impeachment hearings, so the president, in this particular January of 1944 was already in very deep trouble.
LAMB: Where are you when you take a photo like this?
Mr. MAROON: Up in the balcony of the s--this is in the House chamber, and during the State of the Union, the presss is allowed in, and I was up in the balcony, and as he came in, I just tracked him with my telephoto lens.
LAMB: This is a photo, two-page spread, July '74, and this is the committee...
Mr. MAROON: Mm.
LAMB: ...and look who's on the committee.
Mr. MAROON: Yeah.
LAMB: Let's go in tight on that--Richard Hall, our cameraman, right behind me, is looking at...
Mr. MAROON: Representative Lott, at the time, now Senator Lott. He was on the committee as a--as a Republican, and it is interesting that he--you know, he--I also photographed him being interviewed by Sam Donaldson, another person that was young at the time and has gone on to become much more...
LAMB: Look who sits next to him here on this committee, on the left.
Mr. MAROON: That was--that i--is Mr. Cohen, who was also on the impeachment committee and is now secretary of Defense.
LAMB: If you go down the list, you see Caldwell Butler, who's no longer in the Congress, Larry Hogan, who went on to run for governor of Maryland, Wayne Owens, the congressman from Utah, and Liz Holtzman.
Mr. MAROON: Right. Uh-huh.
LAMB: Anybody else on there besides...
Mr. MAROON: Well, you have...
LAMB: ...Mr. Rodino in the middle?
Mr. MAROON: ...yeah, Rodino in the background, and you have--what's the name...from Maryland on the fa--on the last--the last one there, senator--he's senator now from--no, he's the--the dark-haired fellow. He's got his hand up to his face so you can't...
LAMB: Senator Sarbanes.
Mr. MAROON: That's right. That's who it is.
LAMB: We're going to go to some other photographs. Where were you allowed to be in the--you know, were you allowed to get closer in the hearing room, compared to the...
Mr. MAROON: The--the hear...
Mr. MAROON: ..the--the--in the--in the House Judiciary room there, you did not have the f--the freedom that you had in the Senate caucus room when we were doing the Watergate hearings. You had to pick your spot and stay there, and you were not allowed to stay in there continually. You rotated with other photographers, and you waited your turn, and you had 15 minutes or a half hour, and then you had to get out. So it was conducted quite differently than the Senate. It also was a much quieter--you did not have all of the emotions that were going back and forth between the committee members and the witnesses during Watergate, because there were no witnesses. They were just discussing the thing among themselves.
LAMB: What kind of lenses do you use?
Mr. MAROON: In--in--in this instance, I--I used f--from--anywhere from a 15 millimeter, which is a super wide-angle, to a 400 millimeter, which I have--that has a--a holster on it like a rifle, which always attracts a lot of attention to me, because it looks kind of lethal, but it gives me stability, and I'm able to get very close to whatever it is that's happening without being right there.
LAMB: In this photograph, we are looking at Peter Rodino, who was the chairman of the committee, and David Dennis, who was from--now deceased--from Indiana. On the other side is a face--she's no longer alive--but...
Mr. MAROON: Barbara Jordan, who--who--who when she spoke, it was like God himself was speaking. She had a powerful voice, and what she said had great content and she did not waste her words. She...
LAMB: And Jerome Waldie, behind her on the right, there with the glasses, and then Paul Sarbanes again.
Mr. MAROON: Right. Another individual that--that--that had figured, even up to today, so that this picture is one of my favorite photographs, and--and it was published in Life magazine when they were doing a story on what happened during the impeachment of the president.
LAMB: If you had a choice, would you rather shoot black and white or color?
Mr. MAROON: They're both important. I--black and white has archive value--that's the beauty of it. You know when you're shooting black and white that anything that you photograph is going to last long after you're around. When you shoot color, color is much more fragile. It certainly gives you life the way life really is, which is color, but the film doesn't have the long life. They're--they have improved it greatly, but when you're shooting this kind of historic document, I think black and white is--is much more powerful than color is.
LAMB: Who are these people?
Mr. MAROON: Well, this is a big surprise to--to most people. On the left is Bernie Nussbaum, who is in the Clinton--was in the Clinton administration, and to his right is Hillary Rodham, later to become Hillary Rodham Clinton.
LAMB: Did you know who they were at the time?
Mr. MAROON: No, I did not. They were just figures that--that I focused on because they gave me nice body language, and I liked--and I knew they were part of the committee, and I related them to the back. I had no idea--like a lot of pictures that I shoot because I like the way I can compose them--that it would have the meaning and the historic value that they do later on.
LAMB: On the next page, some other familiar faces. Some have gone from us.
Mr. MAROON: Yes. That's Ray...
LAMB: Ray Scherer is, I think, still with us.
Mr. MAROON: ...Ray Scherer. And...
LAMB: Used to be with NBC.
Mr. MAROON: Yes.
LAMB: And then to his right, John Chancellor...
Mr. MAROON: John Chancellor. And...
LAMB: ...and Peter Hackes.
Mr. MAROON: ...Peter Hackes, and Art Buchwald. And you can see from the expressions on their face that they were just as engrossed and involved in everything that was going on, and that was saying--as any of the spectators were, because people could not believe what they were hearing, and the facts that were being revealed, and then when the vote came and he was impeached, that--then they were--the Articles of Impeachment were passed, it--it--you know, sort of supported all that maybe a lot of them had thought and felt about what had happened with this White House and in the cover-up.
LAMB: Where are you from originally?
Mr. MAROON: New Jersey.
Mr. MAROON: New Brunswick, channel--I mean, Exit 9, to some people. I went to school there, Sacred Heart Grammar School, St. Peter's High School, and then joined the Navy in World War II.
LAMB: Go to college?
Mr. MAROON: Yes, after the Navy, on the GI Bill.
Mr. MAROON: Catholic University of America in Washington, and I graduated an architect, and that had a lot to do with--with my style of photography and the way that I take on book projects and the way I--I appreciate the world. My architectural training was critical to my life.
LAMB: Starting back here over to the far right, Bob Goralski, who is deceased, but was with NBC...
Mr. MAROON: Yeah.
LAMB: ...at the time; Frank Reynolds...
Mr. MAROON: He's deceased.
LAMB: ...deceased, with ABC. You mentioned this photog--this photograph earlier, of Trent Lott...
Mr. MAROON: Yeah. Uh-huh.
LAMB: ...and Sam Donaldson, and then off to the left, a whole bunch of people watching. Where did you take this photo?
Mr. MAROON: The press was not allowed into the impeachment hearings en masse, and so the only place that they could operate and continue to report was outside the Judiciary room, in the lobby area. And so they would wait for congressmen to come out and have an opportunity to--to interview them, and I believe that this image--this picture was taken after the first Articles of Impeachment were--were passed, and then they--this was being--he was being interviewed relative to what had gone on.
LAMB: Who's your publisher?
Mr. MAROON: Abbeville Press, in New York City.
LAMB: What made them think that a book back '69 to '74 would sell?
Mr. MAROON: I think they saw two things. They--they saw the historic significance of this unique document. I also liked them because they did art books. I did not want a book that would be just done in a commercial, photojournalistic way. I wanted it to be done where it sort of crossed between art, history and politics, and--and that I would get the right reproduction paper quality and--and they designed a beautiful book for me.
LAMB: And you have the final days. Were you in this room? I assume you were, to take this photograph.
Mr. MAROON: You can't do them, otherwise. You can't take pictures.
LAMB: What was it--what did it feel like on this day?
Mr. MAROON: I--it--that room was loaded with emotion. You could--you could just cut it with a knife. There was no face that you could focus on where you did not see registered the tragedy that we were all witnessing, and everybody was--in that room was sharing in the emotional grief that--that the president and his family were expressing by their looks and him, by his words.
LAMB: How many photos in this last section did you--do you remember--was this one of your bigger sections, or...
Mr. MAROON: This is--is one of the smaller but the most poignant one. It's amazing how--to me, what I did is like a--a Shakespearean or a Greek tragedy.
LAMB: What's this picture then, a part of that...
Mr. MAROON: This image was done--the--the leaders of the s--the minority leaders from the House and Senate, on August the 7th, came to the White House in order to tell the president, wi--with much chagrin, that--that they did not have the votes to prevent his impeachment and conviction, and they...
LAMB: John Rose of Arizona on the right...
Mr. MAROON: Yes.
LAMB: ...the minority leader in the House, Barry Goldwater, Hugh Scott, the minority leader in the Senate, and then Gerry Warren, the deputy press secretary to the president.
Mr. MAROON: Mm-hmm. And--and it must have grieved Goldwater deeply to have to come to the president--and, of course, the president accepted what he said like he would not have accepted it from anyone else--because Nixon had worked very hard for Goldwater's election when he ran and was defeated for the president, and so he--they had a great deal of respect and--for each other.
LAMB: Why this picture of Helen Thomas, near the end?
Mr. MAROON: Well, Helen always was--and--and is to this day--a--a--one of the more important members of the press corps, and to see her there as concerned and grief-stricken, as was the first lady and Tricia in this photograph, it--it--it supports what I said earlier, about what the mood was like in that room during the 20 minutes that--that Nixon delivered his farewell address to his staff. The first lady never knew that all of those people would be there in the room. She thought it was just going to be a--a very small gathering and farewell.
LAMB: And you decided to complete the book with this photo?
Mr. MAROON: Yes, because this, to me, was the end of--of his presidency, and this expression, more so than--than, you know, what happened afterwards, and you could see the tragedy of what he had--was going through all over his face, and to me, that he had the strength to--to keep his--his--his composure, though you could see how broken up he was and the strain that he was going through, and s--give that talk the way that he did, and--and bring it off--I don't know any other human beings under similar circumstances that could have done it with--with--with the--anything ma--more controlled than he did.
LAMB: Here's the back photograph of the book--Henry Kissinger and the president looking out from the Oval Office, and then we flip it around and you can see the cover of it, and this is the book, and our guest has been the photographer for this book, with a text by Tom Wicker, who was a guest many years ago on BOOKNOTES. Fred J. Maroon our guest, "The Nixon Years, 1969 to 1974." Thank you very much for joining us.
Mr. MAROON: Thank you for inviting me.
Copyright National Cable Satellite Corporation 1999. Personal, noncommercial use of this transcript is permitted. No commercial, political or other use may be made of this transcript without the express permission of National Cable Satellite Corporation.