My father, William Paul Taub (Bill), was the first Senior NASA photographer. Through his technical and artistic skills, he captured the crowning major aeronautics and space flight achievements during his employment beginning in 1942 at NACA, Langley Field, VA to his retirement in 1975 from NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC. He covered the missions that sent the first Americans into orbit and to the moon.
Though he was rarely credited by name, he took virtually every official photograph of those who led the nation’s early explorations into space. These pictures played a pivotal role in shaping the public perception of NASA’s work. He was often the only photographer granted access to the astronauts’ grueling training sessions, liftoff, recovery, and closed engineering meetings during the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and many Skylab missions. The resulting artistic photographic images display the humanity of those who orchestrated the space programs first-ever feats. Many of these were featured in major magazines and newspapers around the world.
Because my father was humbly aware of the importance and honor in his role as one of history’s record keepers, he dutifully saved a multitude of items from his career. It is my goal not only to preserve his collection but to share and celebrate these historic achievements with the world. I therefore am working with J.L. Pickering, spaceflight historian, authority, and award-winning author so we can share his legacy with you.
Thank you for your interest in my father’s work and for helping to honor, preserve, cherish, and celebrate these historic achievements.
Dee O’Hara, nurse to the original 7 Mercury astronauts worked with Taub on many occasions. She remembers Bill as; “Bill was the ultimate photographer. He was a sight to behold with cameras hanging from his neck and arms. I still don’t know how he did it. The astronauts trusted him to do the right thing or to take the right photo. Bill was such a nice guy and well-liked by all of us who knew him. He never intruded on the astronaut’s privacy.
Emma Brown from The Washington Post wrote. “Though he was rarely credited by name, Mr. Taub took nearly every official picture of the astronauts who led the nation’s early forays into space and played a central role in shaping public perception of NASA’s work. He was often the only photographer with access to training sessions and closed engineering meetings during the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions, and his images showed the anxiety of those who orchestrated the space programs first-ever feats.”