William L. LaForce Jr., Baltimore Sun photojournalist

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In a recurring series, The Darkroom takes a look back at some of the talented photojournalists who have helped enrich The Sun. One such photographer was William L. LaForce Jr.

LaForce joined The Sun as a staff photographer in 1962. In 1968 he became the director of photography and held that position until 1973 when he left to become a photographer with the New York Daily News.

During his time in Baltimore, LaForce won numerous awards for his skill with a camera. A fire photo he took in 1968 of a firefighter being rescued won first prize in the International Association of Fire Fighters competition for the “Best Fire Photograph in the U.S.”

What he was best known for was his comprehensive coverage of the tumultuous times during the 1960s. He covered the Baltimore riots and the Maryland National Guard as they were called into action. He took pictures of the “Catonsville Nine” as they burned Selective Service records behind the draft board office. LaForce also covered Vietnam War protestors as they staged a sit-in at City Hall.

William L. LaForce Jr. died in January 2001 at his home in Parsippany, N.J.