The Kiss Of Life by Rocco Morabito, 1968 Pulitzer Prize.
Jacksonville Journal photographer Rocco Morabito is on his way to photograph a railroad strike when he notices Jacksonville Electric Authority linemen high up on the poles. “I passed these men working and went on to my assignment,” says Morabito. “I took eight pictures at the strike. I thought I’d go back and see if I could rind another picture.”
But when Morabito gets back to the linemen, “I heard screaming. I looked up and I saw this man hanging down. Oh my God. I didn’t know what to do.” The linemen. Randall Champion, is dangling upside down in his safety belt — felled bv 4,160 volts of electricity.
“I took a picture right quick.” says Morabito. “J.D. Thompson (another lineman) was running toward the pole. I went to my car and called an ambulance. I got back to the pole and J.D. was breathing into Champion.” Cradling the stricken lineman in his arms, Thompson rhythmically pushes air into Champion’s lungs. Below. Morabito makes pictures — and prays.
“I backed off. way off until I hit a house and I couldn’t go any farther. I took another picture”, it is a prize-winning photograph, but Morahito’s real concern is the injured lineman. Thompson finally shouts down: “He’s breathing.” Champion survives.
“I love you, June. Now, I know I said and done a lotta things. That I hurt you, but I promise, I’ll never do that again. I only want to take care of you.”