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David Valdez – Presidential Photographer, Leader, Game Changer

David Valdez photographer

David Valdez learned photography in the U.S. Air Force before earning a B.A. in journalism from the University of Maryland. While still a student, Valdez worked as a photographer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

He left the government to become the chief photographer for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce magazine, Nations Business. But in 1983, he took the position of Personal Photographer to then Vice-President George H. W. Bush. When Bush became President in 1988, Valdez was appointed as Director of the White House Photo Office.

During this administration, Valdez traveled to 75 countries and all 50 states with the President. In 1997, he published George Herbert Walker Bush: A Photographic Profile.

And this is just part of his story…

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  • Many years ago President Harry Truman visited Philadelphia and my friend Sam Psoras, a Daily News photographer, was working and someone called “hey, Psoras.” Truman perked up and called Sam over. “Did he just call you sore ass?” Truman asked. Sam told him it was a Greek name, and he actually pronounced it “sore us” with a silent P. But the next time HST was in Philly, Sam got the assignment again. Truman spotted him and called him over. “Hey, Sore Ass,” he yelled.