Only in the new issue of Closer Weekly, photographer Harry Benson, who has photographed every U.S. president from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama, shares his delight in documenting the life and times of President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan, as the 10th anniversary of President Reagan’s death approaches on June 5.
“Every time I went with them, I knew I was going to come back with something special,” Harry recalls to Closer.
But in this never-before-seen photo, exclusively shared with Closer Weekly, Harry was called upon to photograph the president outside his LA office shortly after rumors started to circulate he was suffering from Alzheimer’s.
He recalls the president, known as the Great Communicator, was unusually quiet. “That was a bit sad, because Reagan always spoke,” Harry shares. “And when Reagan told you a funny story, it was genuinely funny.”
But for Harry, photographing the happier times, and capturing the affection between Ron and Nancy, was easy because of their obvious adoration for each other.
“They were in love — there is no question about it,” he shares with Closer. “You could see that they were the most important people to each other. It was genuine. Photographs don’t lie.”
And it was Harry who took one of Nancy’s favorite photos of their White House years, one of the couple dancing.
“She had it on her dressing table, framed,” he shares. “It was a happy time for Nancy and Ronnie. They called it ‘The Dancing Years.’”
For more from Harry and more of his famous photos, plus an exclusive interview with Ronald Reagan’s son, Michael Reagan, pick up the new issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!