Shortly after he had changed jobs from the L.A. Times-Mirror to the Herald-Express in 1956, George Lacks was persuaded by his colleagues to join the Los Angeles Press Photographers Association (now called the Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles or PPAGLA). His photographic work quickly found its way into the next edition of "Just one more!", the annual journal of the association, in 1957. By 1958 George had been seated on LAPPA's Board of Directors, and by 1959 he was elected its president. His photos appeared in every edition of "Just one more!" from 1957 through 1960, the year of his sudden death from heart attack.
On this page you'll find an assemblage of those photos, along with high-resolution scans of the front covers of each of the four journals in which those photos were published. You'll also see the dedicatory message for the 1959 edition, which my father wrote while serving as president of LAPPA. The photos are all shown here in context, as they appear inside the journals. Since they are repro- duced from lithographs rather than from original photos, they will not be of the same high quality as the photos found elsewhere in this site. These images have been processed with a noise-and-blur filter to mitigate the effects of the dot-matrix screen on the lithographs. The images were also desaturated to remove color artifacts introduced during scanning.
Permission to publish the material on this page has been granted by Mr. Bob Riha, Jr., who currently serves as president of the PPAGLA.
In early 1936, a nasty incident prompted creation of the first formal organization of news photographers in Los Angeles, California. Perry Fowler, a press photographer, was attacked by a Hollywood actor at a race track when Fowler photographed the man with his girlfriend. There was nothing novel or unusual about this incident; physical assaults against press photogs had already been going on for decades. Howard DeCoursy, who managed International News Pictures, and George Watson (an uncle of Delmar Watson), the manager of Acme News Pictures Syndicate, formed the Hollywood Press Photographers Association. Their goals were not just to address the issue of physical violence against news photographers, but also to secure better working conditions, better pay, and greater recognition for them, as well as to exchange ideas about improving the quality of news pictures generally.
In its earliest days the HPPA had just 24 members; George Watson served as its president, Howard DeCoursy its vice president. One of its first achievements was to create an annual dinner event to salute the editors and movie stars working in the southland. Watson and DeCoursy met with studio publicity men at the Hollywood Athletic Club to plan the first dinner. During this meeting, DeCoursy left the table in pain, and died of a heart attack shortly thereafter.
But the first dinner came to fruition nonetheless, in 1936. "The Flashlighters Ball," as it was called, was held at the Biltmore Hotel, and drew the attention of many Hollywood actors, who apparently were more favorably disposed toward press photographers than many others in their profession. Among the actors to make that first dinner a success were Eddie Cantor, Martha Raye, Tom Mix, Deanna Durbin, Nelson Eddy, Jeanette MacDonald, Ralph Bellamy, and Gene Raymond. So successful was this event, in fact, that the Los Angeles Police Department was called in to curb a crowd of about 1,500 autograph-seekers who had jammed the Biltmore Bowl.
By the late '30s and early '40s, the HPPA had organized several boycotts of prominent events with an eye toward securing better treatment and recognition of press photographers. One of these boycotts involved the Mayfair Ball at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, probably the largest annual social event in Los Angeles at the time. The reason? Hotel management had previously refused to let press photogs inside the hotel for the event. The only photos of this event that were available to news media were those depicting newsmen dressed in tuxedos, sitting with their cameras on the curb in front of the hotel. HPPA also organized a boycott of the Rose Bowl game between Stanford University and Southern Methodist University. Apparently Stanford had sold the motion-picture rights of this game to a San Francisco-based company, and didn't allow local newsmen to get within 100 feet of the field.
In subsequent years the HPPA underwent some reorganizations and name changes. In 1943 it was reorganized under the presidency of Frank Bentley, and its name was changed to the Los Angeles Press Photo- graphers Association (LAPPA). In 1962, the dissolution of the Mirror News and the merger of the Examiner and the Herald-Express resulted in a paucity of eligible members for the association, since its charter had restricted membership to those working in the intercity areas of Los Angeles. So in 1969 LAPPA changed its name once more, to the Press Photographers Association of Greater Los Angeles (PPAGLA), to accommodate news photographers from all over the southland.
Whereas in the early days of the HPPA the installation and awards dinners had been held at the Budweiser Brewery, more recent dinners have taken place in such venues as the Castaways, the Queen Mary, the Princess Louise, the Proud Bird, the Bonaventure Hotel, and the New Otani Hotel. The PPAGLA looks forward to celebrating its 75th anniversary in March 2011, at a gala event and historical photo exhibit aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California.
In 1952 there occurred two events which ultimately gave rise to the annual journal "Just one more!," each in its own way. In December of that year, LAPPA published a precursor entitled 50 Years of News Photography in Los Angeles. This was the first really significant publication by the association. But it was also curious in some ways. Its paper front cover boasted an unusual drawing by Sam Patrick, a staff artist at the Los Angeles Times. The drawing depicts a Leonardo da Vinci- like figure, with long, flowing hair and beard; just aft of his head looms a large camera lens, rendered with eerie precision and realism. Moreover, the 72 pages of this spiral-bound book were printed on what appears to be photosensitive blue paper, which earned for the book its nickname, "The Blue Book."
But it was really a financial crisis that shook LAPPA into creating its annual journal. Also in 1952, it was decided to expand the scope of the annual editors' dinners to include other types of guests who could raise money to support local charities. The formal dinner dance that year lasted all night, and concluded in the morning with a huge breakfast. However, instead of having extra funds available for charity purposes, LAPPA discovered that the dinner/breakfast had put them in the hole for $11,000.
To put the crisis in perspective: In 1952 you could buy a small two-bedroom house for $11,000.
After successfully soliciting small loans from each of its members, LAPPA managed to pay off the smaller creditors. But they still owed six grand to the Statler Hotel. Then in 1954, the Board of Directors came up with a plan to market, publish and sell an annual journal for LAPPA. The name "Just one more!" was suggested by Phil Bath, then president of LAPPA (and a colleague and good friend of George Lacks). The premiere edition was published in June 1954. After just two editions, the journal raised enough funds to cover the Statler Hotel bill, and during the 1956 dinner party at the Elks Club, every LAPPA member who had lent his $40 or more to the cause four years earlier was repaid.
"Just one more!" continues to be published to this day. It has even spawned a periodical called "Just one more, Jr.", published several times a year at irregular intervals.
Karl Hubenthal's cover art for the early editions of "Just one more!" was such an important and integral feature of the journal that he merits at least a brief digest of his life and work. Karl Samuel Hubenthal (May 1, 1917—August 13, 1998) was born in Beemer, Nebraska, and raised in California. After graduating from Hollywood High School, he attended Chouinard Art School in Los Angeles. Early in his career he worked with George Herriman, Will Gould and Willard Mullen, each influencing his development as a cartoonist.
Hubenthal began his newspaper career in 1935, at the age of 17, in the art department of the Los Angeles Evening Herald-Express. He started drawing a weekly sports cartoon in 1938, and just two years later was named Top Sports Cartoonist of the Year at the New York World's Fair. After serving in the Marine Corps during World War II, he took jobs as a commercial illustrator in New York and Los Angeles. In 1949 William Randolph Hearst persuaded Hubenthal to return to the newspaper business as a sports cartoonist for the Los Angeles Examiner. He became the Examiner's chief editorial cartoonist in 1955, and the Hearst chain distributed his political cartoons nationally for the next 33 years. When the Examiner merged with the L.A. Herald-Express in 1962, Hubenthal's cartoons comprised one of only six Examiner features to be retained in the merger.
In 1954 Hubenthal was approached by the Los Angeles Press Photographers Association about creating the cover art for its inaugural edition of the annual, "Just one more!". His ingenious and inventive cover art was so well-received that he continued to produce the covers for "Just one more!" every year through 1968. (Most of the Hubenthal covers can be viewed online courtesy of cartoonist Bradley J. Gake; see Gake's photo stream on flickr.com.)
Hubenthal continued to work with the Herald-Examiner until his retirement in 1982. He and his wife of 58 years, Elsie, moved to Laguna Hills in Orange County, California, where he took up painting landscapes and portraits, and occasionally, sports drawing. His paintings were exhibited in galleries in Laguna Beach and Arizona. Hubenthal died of a brain tumor in 1998, at the age of 81.
During his 47-year newspaper career, Hubenthal won seven National Cartoonists Society awards, 25 Freedom Foundation medals, the National Headliners Award, and the Helms Foundation medallion. He worked for the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists, and also served as president of the Society of Illustrators, and regional director of the National Cartoonists Society. His papers and the bulk of his drawings are maintained in permanent archive collections at the University of Wisconsin, Ohio State University, and the International Museum of Cartoon Art in Boca Raton, Florida. A number of his paintings and drawings made their way into the private collections of eight former U.S. Presidents, as well as numerous personalities in national politics and sports.