Arthur Pollock, longtime Boston Herald photojournalist, dies.

Arthur Pollock, Boston Herald assistant director of photography, died yesterday. Arthur was a great photographer/morning-desk photo editor, very good person, special friend, loving husband to Judy Cockerton, caring dad to Jesse, Jenna and Brianna, and awesome coworker. I will remember his attention to detail, discipline, (fairly) cool demeanor , and voracious reading skills. He cared about journalism. Arthur would often finish reading the Herald and get halfway through the Globe before the beginning of his morning shift as morning-desk photo editor. His command of nearly every story was second to none at the Herald, including the writing-side editors. He would sometimes compliment or gently criticize a reporter, when warranted. He would even sometimes tell me: “please tell Laura Crimaldi (my wife and Boston Globe reporter) that her story in the Globe was great, today.” When a photographer got a message from Arthur of “congratulations, great photo”, it was known that he truly meant it. He was a great teacher, teaching me the nuances of the morning photodesk as I would often have to fill in for him during his treatments the last year, and teaching me the art/business of photojournalism. I remember his favorite lesson line of “shoot it like you had been contracted by Parade or People Magazine.” In other words, make every shot count. From my first day at the Herald in 1993 until the last day that I saw him in May, he would have an interesting story to tell, telling it with that famous Arthur grin. He was fiercely loyal to the Herald, Jim Mahoney and The Chief, Kevin Cole. The photos above are some of his favorites, including the Dinosaur of Boston, Roller Coaster, and his view of the very sad Challenger explosion in Florida. He covered the Pope, Presidents and travelled the world until becoming more of a presence on the photo desk in the late 90’s. The photo above of Arthur, at right, fixing my tie was taken in the mid 90’s in Warwick,RI. Five Herald photographers had won photo awards and we were in a hotel about to be feted. Arthur knocked on my hotel room door and wanted me to hustle as we were going to be late. He took one look at my tie and said: “Your tie is on wrong”, and proceeded to fix it. Not sure who took the photo but I will treasure it. RIP Arthur.


4 Responses to “Arthur Pollock, longtime Boston Herald photojournalist, dies.”

  1. Tom Mashberg says:

    Beautiful tribute, Mark. If you don’t mind, I’ll add this:

    I was incredibly lucky to have had Arthur as weekend Photo Chief during my time as Sunday editor at the Herald. He was the rock of the morning — ready with a full news briefing when I walked in at 8:30 am. With Arthur there you knew you’d never miss a story, back in the days when a miss could cost you 24 hours of news cycle angst. He studied the daily news with unstinting dedication and knew where we needed to be.

    Arthur was a mensch in the truest sense – an optimistic man brimming with love and kindness. His pictures were always uplifting, humane, and sensitive to his subjects. They reflected his nature perfectly. Floating dinosaurs, exhausted ballerinas, soaring divas, grieving families — Arthur always seemed to find the moment that captured the heart and eloquence of an event.

    He was one of the smartest guys in the newsroom and a fountain of institutional memory. He could debate music and literature and politics with you one minute, then bark some forceful and sharp-minded instructions to a shooter chasing a breaking story the next. He loved fine newspaper writing and the great art of photography, and he understood the way pictures and text went together to make a story feel like it was unfolding before the readers’ eyes. He was a very good writer too, and wrote some excellent reviews of photography shows for us.

    Our road trips to New York were memorable. We’d cover something or other and then argue over whether to have pastrami on rye at the Stage or the Carnegie. We went to Yankee Stadium once to interview Sox fans during a Sox-Yankees playoff series there. I spotted a family of four — they all had red hats on and the kids had had their faces made up with Sox logos. Arthur quickly shot them (after giving me that glare shooters give reporters when we annoyingly suggest photos) and the photo was picked up the next day in color by The New York Times. Yes, the Gray Lady chose a Pollock over their own shooters’ work in their own back yard. And the added punchline was this: they misspelled his photo credit! Yes, they spelled it Pollack, not Pollock (“like the tasty white fish or the expressionist painter.”) We had them run a correction, too.

    His love for his wife — St. Judy, he called her — and his kids was unlimited. He was an inspiring family man who never stopped talking about his kids and Judy’s work with children. Yet he maintained a loyalty to the Herald that was nearly as devotional. He trained many young shooters and just as many inexperienced reporters and editors in covering the streets, sports, the arts — all the vibrant drama of life in Boston. And he never forgot to cover evocative events — grandmothers shopping for Easter hats in Roxbury, the blowing of the Shofar, the march of the elephants. Nothing escaped him.

    He had patience and respect for everyone (although he could chew you out too, when you needed it, but in a way that made you feel like he loved and cared). The two of us liked to quarrel and spar yet it was always a warm, joshing style of bickering that sounded (to a lot of our colleagues) like two old Jews yapping on a Central Park bench. He was deeply proud of his photographers when they shot great pictures and won big awards, and advocated strongly for beautiful photos at times when overlong copy started to crowd them out.

    Could Arthur be irascible? — Sure, if you brought in lousy bagels on a Saturday morning. One time a shooter came in with a bag of bagel-shaped hockey pucks from Dunkin’ Donuts. Arthur ordered him right out to Brookline to get something edible.

    I never had a chance to tell Arthur just how much I liked him — what a joy it was to be his colleague and his friend. He was a fine talent and a fine man — one of the finest colleagues of my life. Like everyone else, I am heartbroken that we lost him so young.

  2. Erica Moura says:

    Mark, thanks for sharing this story. You captured his spirit perfectly. He was one of my favorite people to talk to in the morning (and I am not a morning person). We always debated about assignments for interns and about shooting techniques. I learned A LOT from him, as I imagine so many others did. Thinking about the Boston Herald family especially.

  3. markadmin says:

    Thanks Erica. Sorry for the late reply. I will miss him! RIP AP

  4. markadmin says:

    Hi Tom. Sorry for the late reply. Beautifully written. Thanks