J. Scott Applewhite is the senior photojournalist with The Associated Press in Washington. His primary beat for three decades has been the White House where his coverage of six presidents — Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and now Barack Obama — has given him a front-row seat to history. Most recently, he is focusing on the struggles of a divided and divisive Congress.
Many of Applewhite’s highlight assignments have taken him far from politics and presidents: wars in the Middle East and the Balkans, the invasion of Panama, the terror of Haiti and the anguish of Africa. His expertise at getting into and filing from some of the world’s most difficult datelines made him one of AP’s busiest frontline photojournalists.
Applewhite was honored with his second Pulitzer Prize in Feature Photography in 1999 for his images documenting President Clinton’s impeachment crisis. His photos from the 1992 presidential campaigns helped the AP win a Pulitzer for Feature Photography in 1993. That same year, his coverage of the Somalia tragedy merited the Pulitzer Honored Finalist citation. Noting a career of excellence and initiative, The Associated Press more recently singled out Applewhite for its prestigious Gramling Spirit Award.
On Capitol Hill, he serves as chairman of the Senate Press Photographers Gallery. Beyond his daily work for The Associated Press, Applewhite is enthusiastic about sharing his experience with young journalists through mentoring programs and professional associations.
Before joining the AP, Applewhite worked for the Palm Beach Post and Miami Herald in Florida, the Louisville Courier-Journal, and The Gleaner, in Henderson, Ky.
A son of Kentucky, Applewhite’s passion for news was sparked as a journalism student at Western Kentucky University where he was recently honored with the 2011 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Journalism.