Interview: The White House Photographer Inside the Bush Presidency on Sept. 11

Sep 11, 2013

On Sept. 11, 2001, Eric Draper presumed the morning trip to Florida would be a routine affair. Or, at least as routine as anything ever can be when you’re traveling with the President of the United States. 

Draper was, at the time, the official White House photographer. On the schedule that day: a visit to a Sarasota classroom to promote an education program. But as the events of the morning unfolded, Eric Draper witnessed history as few others could have. 

Draper is a longtime photojournalist. His book, "Front Row Seat," includes a chapter on 9/11 and its aftermath.

“For me, it amounted to suppressing a lot of my feelings in order to do my job of following the president and actually capturing his feelings,” Draper said as he described how he handled working that day. “I had to put my feelings aside, and luckily I had the camera as a distraction.”

Listen to KUT's interview with Draper in the Soundcloud player above, and view his images in the slideshow player at the top of this page.

President George W. Bush aboard Air Force One on Sept 11. Draper said he tried to focus on the technical aspects of the job and keeping up with the president that day.
Credit Eric Draper, White House