Ted Polumbaum Photo Collection

Over his 40-year career, freelance photojournalist Ted Polumbaum (1924-2001) photographed newsmaking people and events including the 1965 rematch between boxers Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston; the political career of Ted Kennedy from 1958 to 1969; chef Julia Child in her kitchen; the 1967 Boston Red Sox “Impossible Dream” team; anti-Vietnam War protests in Washington, D.C., and Massachusetts; and civil rights leaders Andrew Young and Ralph Abernathy at the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign march from Mississippi to Washington, D.C. The photographs in this online exhibit examine three specific areas: the early political career of Sen. Edward Kennedy from 1958 to 1969; the events of Freedom Summer in 1964; and his coverage of historic moments and extraordinary people.

Sen. Edward Kennedy

Ted Polumbaum’s photos of Kennedy’s early rise in politics captured the triumphs, setbacks and tragic losses that have come to define the senator’s eventful life and influential career. Through his lens, Polumbaum drew an intimate portrait of an emerging politician, a political cub on the path to becoming a Senate lion.


Freedom Summer

Ted Polumbaum covered the 1964 Freedom Summer campaign for Time magazine, from the volunteers’ training sessions in Ohio to their arrival in Mississippi, where they defied segregationists in a door-to-door campaign to register blacks to vote. The volunteers also taught thousands of children in Freedom Schools.


Curator’s Choice

This gallery highlights a selection of Polumbaum’s work, including his travels to China, Chile, India and Kashmir; politics, sports and celebrities; the hula hoop craze and Coney Island.


How to Get Access to the Polumbaum Photos

Along with the civil rights photos shown here, all of Polumbaum’s 200,000 photos are part of the Newseum’s permanent collection and can be licensed for use by filling out and submitting our Image License Request form.


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Juxtapositions: Images From the Newseum Ted Polumbaum Photo Collection
Juxtapositions: Images from the Newseum Ted Polumbaum Photo Collection

Using the motif of paired pictures, this volume of selections from the vast Ted Polumbaum collection in the Newseum in Washington, D.C. draws attention to human connections across time, culture, and geography that all generations can appreciate.

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