Norman Welton, Photo Editor, Dies

July 04, 2009

NEW YORK - Norman Welton, whose 31-year career as a photo editor for the Associated Press included coverage of New York City, the United Nations and four Olympic Games, has died. He was 81.

Welton died from colon cancer Wednesday at a medical center in Port Jervis, N.Y., his niece, Lynda Kane, said Thursday. He was hospitalized after a fall at his home in Hawley, Pa.

Welton joined the AP in his native Chicago just after high school in 1946. He started as a part-time messenger and rose through a series of posts there before becoming a senior photo editor at the company's New York headquarters in 1961.

His 44-year career with the AP was interrupted by two years of Army service at the Pentagon's communications center during the Korean War in 1952-53. He retired in 1992. "The assignment desk is the heart of every picture operation and Norm was a crackerjack editor," said Hal Buell, a former AP vice president and photography chief. "He knew what was going on in the city, had excellent contacts, and his sense of humor saw him through many a rough story."

Welton's wife died in 1998. He is survived by a son from a previous marriage.

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