Tuesday, December 12, 2017
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Looking Back ... at Times staff photographer Bob Moreland

Bob Moreland was an award-winning staff photographer who worked for the St. Petersburg Times from 1949 to 1992. The text below comes from his March 20, 2002 obituary. Below that you will find a sampling pulled from the 11,000 or so Bob Moreland images we have in our archives.

“Probably his most famous picture is of an alligator with its mouth wide open next to a “No Swimming” sign at Homosassa Springs. Working at the time under contract for the attraction, he was showing a Life photographer around when he saw the gator attack the sign and snapped the shot. “I got four frames, and the Life guy got off a couple,” he once recalled, but it was Mr. Moreland’s that the attraction owners chose for postcards and posters. For the Times, he covered yacht races that began in St. Petersburg and ended in Havana. He and other photographers covered the first space shots. Film had to be processed in the car on the way back from Cape Canaveral. He photographed Dwight Eisenhower, Adlai Stevenson, Robert A. Taft, John Kennedy, Estes Kefauver and Richard Nixon. “I almost got trampled to death shooting Nixon,” he recalled. “I tripped and fell, and people just kept coming.” His work appeared in Life and in other publications, including Sports Illustrated. Since childhood, he dreamed of taking pictures for a newspaper. When he was in grade school in Youngstown, Ohio, he built a darkroom under the stairs in his family home. On weekends he carried the camera bag of a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette photographer on assignments. As a young World War II Navy veteran he got his start as a news photographer in St. Petersburg. In 1949, he won a Times snapshot prize of $5 and went to the newspaper office looking for an opening. “Tom Harris (then executive editor of the Times) told me twice to go away because he was too busy,” Mr. Moreland recalled in 1992, “so I went back at 2 a.m. after they put the paper to bed and got the job.” That job was as a part-time darkroom technician. He became full-time the next year. Promoted to photographer in 1952, he began to win prizes. The Florida West Coast Press Photographers Association twice named him photographer of the year. In 1957, he won first place in the National Press Photographers Association - Encyclopaedia Britannica Contest. It was for a shot of Presley, who performed in the Tampa Bay area.”

Tim Rozgonyi | Twitter: @timrozgonyi | e-mail: trozgonyi@tampabay.com

March 1, 1959 - Mickey Mantle holding an American League Baseball Player contract.
October 18, 1959 - Sunshine City Market
October 18, 1959 - Mrs. Martha Naegele, customer.
August 5, 1956 - Elvis Presley wins screams of delight from fans at the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory in Tampa. Ten thousand fans saw one of Presley's two shows there, sponsored by the Sertoma Civic Club. Tickets were $1.50 for general admission and $2 for reserved seats. The sound system consisted of two microphones and two 50-watt amplifiers.
(Left) Elvis Presley sings one of his famous ballads during his Florida Theatre concert in 1956. / (Right) Pat Whitaker, attorney for Santo Traficante Jr., verbally chastises The Times. (1955 photo)
June 11, 1964 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is put into a patrol car with a police dog after being arrested after trying to integrate a segregated restaurant in St. Augustine, Florida.
June 14, 1964 - Arch-segregationist J. B. Stoner of Atlanta, second from left in photo above, speaks to followers at a meeting in Saint Augustine, Fl..
November 18, 1963 - THE PRESIDENT ACCEPTS WITH PLEASURE . . . a doll for daughter Caroline, presented by Marlene Maseda, 6. She is held by her father, Marcelino Maseda, Alcalde of Ybor City, who gave President Kennedy a humidor of Tampa cigars.
September 29, 1958 - Horses watching television
January 3, 1956 - Mr. & Mrs. R. B. Mobley and Family
(Left) March 16, 1966 - Yogi Berra and Pat Friese, in the money dress, were popular guests at the Sunset Club kick-off for the visiting women golfers. / (Right) A ballplayer bends and grimaces after getting hit by a pitch. (1961 photo)
February 14, 1964 - Florida does not have a Mount Rushmore to show off as a tourist attraction. It and St. Petersburg do have one of the classic profiles of our era on display each winter as its owner is proudly showing above. The gentleman? Who else but renowned raconteur, humorist and manager Casey Stengel of the New York Mets.
September 19, 1954 - Sunday on the Sunshine Skyway
January 3, 1985 - Lucifer, the 3,700-pound hippo at the Homosassa Springs Attraction in Citrus County, opens wide for a water massage from a hose.
January 18, 1953 - Up late to catch their nocturnal pet in his waking hours, Donna (left) and Suzanne Baird feed Little Flower her midnight breakfast of dog food, to be followed by a dessert delicacy of raisins. The deodorized skunk, now three months old, was the Baird children's No. 1 Christmas present.
August 2, 1959 - There Is No Way Out . . . for the mental patient, unless the family recognizes the need for immediate treatment.
(Left) October 25, 1979 - A stand of slash pines is in the Withlacoochee Forest on Route 491 in Citrus County. / (Right) April 18, 1964 - An alligator with a flair for the dramatic.
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